Carrifran valley was purchased by Borders Forest Trust (BFT) without the use of any public money. The whole cost - nearly £400,000 - was raised from private individuals (about 80%) and Charitable Trusts. The 600 Founders, who gave at least £250 to “adopt” nominal hectares in the valley, contributed the greater part of the money, with individual donations ranging up to £35,000. Smaller contributions were made by over 800 people.
Substantial funding for the restoration work in the valley comes from a variety of public and private sector organisations, whose help is gratefully acknowledged here. They include:
The MFST has channelled National Lottery funds from the Millennium Commission to a wide variety of woodland-related projects around Scotland. MFST helped with the development of the Wildwood project from 1995 onwards, and during 2000 it was the main funder for the erection of about 11 kilometres of fencing to exclude domestic stock from Carrifran valley, as well as for the car park, interpretation boards and other works. The support of MFST staff was critical in enabling BFT to secure this funding, and was deeply appreciated by the Wildwood Group.
SNH has great interest in Carrifran as it lies within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). SNH has been strongly supportive of the Wildwood project since its inception, and when Borders Forest Trust bought the site, SNH agreed to fund a Project Officer for three years, of which the first year (2000) was full time; this support has continued subsequently. SNH staff participated in appointing the Project Officer and maintain close contact with him and the other organisers of the project.
The Forestry Commision, through the Woodland Grant Scheme (WGS), is a major sponsor of the Wildwood project. The Environmental Statement which accompanied the first WGS application planned for the eventual establishment of nearly 300 hectares (740 acres) of native woodland in the lower half of the valley. Staff in many parts of the Forestry Commission were generous in their support and advice before and during the preparation of the application and the WGS contract was signed with negligible delay. The current contract relates to the first 180 ha (445 acres), to be planted in the years 2000 to 2004.
The David Stevenson Trust is paying for raising all the trees being planted at Carrifran. Without this most generous support it would have been impossible to proceed so rapidly with the restoration of Carrifran valley, and the Wildwood Group and BFT are deeply grateful. Seeds for all the trees are collected by members of the group. Most of the young trees are then grown by commercial nurseries and purchased by BFT when needed. Small numbers of trees, mainly of the scarcer species, are propagated by volunteers.
Scottish Power has provided substantial support for the project through its Rural Care project. Much of the money has been used for planting and protecting trees in the lower part of Carrifran valley, but some is supporting a pioneering attempt to establish treeline woodland at very high levels above Firth Hope.
The WWF provided support for vegetation monitoring, for the preparation of publicity material and for the 2003 conference Restoring Borders Woodland: the vision and the task.
A separate list of Trusts and Companies includes both those which contributed to the land purchase and those which are supporting the restoration work.
In spite of this strong support from large organisations, the available grants and sponsorship do not cover the whole cost of woodland establishment at Carrifran. The restoration of the valley thus still depends heavily on the generosity of members of the public. Care of trees, upkeep of fences, control of deer and provision of interpretation to the public are continuing heavy responsibilities.
To ensure that the momentum of ecological restoration is maintained at Carrifran, and to safeguard the long-term future of the Wildwood, we ask you to consider making a donation.
Carbon Offset at Carrifran
The Carrifran Wildwood project is first and foremost about ecological restoration, and the idea of carbon offset played no part in our original rationale.
During the 1990s, however, there was widespread acceptance of the idea that planting trees was an effective way of offsetting emissions of carbon dioxide, because trees absorb the gas as they grow. After the Kyoto agreement on climate change, many companies decided to offset their emissions in this way.
The Wildwood Group was approached by the carbon ‘brokers’ Future Forests (now renamed The Carbon Neutral Company) with an offer to pay ‘up front’ for the carbon that would be sequestered by the trees growing at Carrifran over the coming century. The money would come from their corporate clients, who would be provided with independently verified evidence of the planting and of the progress of growth.
An agreement was reached by which the project was paid a fixed sum per hectare, to help pay for the planting of the trees. The names of the companies involved were given to the Wildwood Group, who retained a right to veto any company with which they did not wish to be associated.
Over the years, the Wildwood project has received almost fifty thousand pounds under this carbon offset scheme. This sum represents about 4% of the total funding for the project to date, and has thus played a significant part in enabling us to press on with the restoration of Carrifran glen.