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Trees for Life


Trees for Life is an environmental charity which owns and manages Dundreggan Estate in Glenmoriston. Its vision is for revitalised wild forestry in the Highlands of Scotland, providing space for wildlife to flourish and communities to thrive. A range of environmental projects have been undertaken, including the planting of native woodland at Allt Ruadh. Carbon units generated by the plantation are verified through the Woodland Carbon Code and sold to corporate buyers for offsetting. One-third of the sale price of carbon units is passed on to the local community through two community groups. Volunteering, access and recreation opportunities bring additional community benefit as well as the project increasing visitor numbers which supports the local economy.

Detailed case study

Trees for Life (TfL) is an environmental charity formed over thirty years ago. Its vision is of revitalised wild forestry in the Highlands of Scotland, providing space for wildlife to flourish and communities to thrive. The charity purchased the 4,000-hectare Dundreggan Estate in Glenmoriston in 2008 and has planted nearly two million native trees and has protected numerous natural areas. It has run successful projects to re-introduce red squirrels and protect Scotland’s remaining Caledonian Pinewoods, as well as operating a Skills for Rewilding Traineeship scheme and volunteer programme. Future plans include a rewilding centre at Dundreggan with accommodation for volunteers, accessible woodland trails, café, events space and children’s outdoor play area.

The charity has a board of trustees with 10 members and 29 paid members of staff and works with a number of strategic, conservation and volunteering partners including Scottish Forestry, Rewilding Scotland, NatureScot, and the Highland Green Health Partnership. Funding comes through personal donations and grant funding applications to a wide number of public and private funders as well as from the sale of carbon units. Carbon units are validated by the UK Woodland Carbon Code and sold to corporate buyers who want to offset emissions.

TfL has shared income from carbon unit sales with two local groups: West Glenmoriston Community Company and the Glenmoriston Improvement Group. Two annual payments totalling £20K and £19K respectively have been made to the groups to date, who will use the funds to improve warning wildlife signage around their villages (red squirrel and toads), invest in a children’s playpark, and make environmental improvements in and around the West Glenmoriston community hub building.

Moving forward, TfL will continue to support local groups with a percentage of funds raised through the sale of carbon credits. The amount to be shared is one third of the price obtained by Trees for Life for each carbon unit sold from 01 April 2022 until the final carbon offset unit from the Allt Ruadh woodland plantation scheme has been sold. This amount will be split evenly between the Glenmoriston Improvement Group and the West Glenmoriston Community Company. Payments are made following each sale of 500 carbon units and the groups are free to use the funding “to help people benefit from their local landscape in any way they see fit” (Community Carbon Agreement between Trees for Life and the Glenmoriston Improvement Group).


Aerial view of Dundreggan Estate in Glenmoriston, Highlands. Credit: Ashley Coombes, courtesy Trees for Life.