Tree conservation and habitat management

Published: 15/03/2023

Our team has been working with specialists in tree conservation and habitat management on tree maintenance across the Estate. This has resulted in a series of works summarised in this update. 

The Monarchs’ Trees

In 1842, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed at Taymouth Castle as guests of the 2nd Marquis of Breadalbane. Queen Victoria described Taymouth Castle in a letter to her uncle Leopold, King of the Belgians, as an “enchanting & Princely place” (Royal Archives, Y90/56/8 September 1842). While there, Victoria and Albert each planted an Oak and a Scots pine. Subsequently, and prior to DLC ownership, Albert’s Scots pine was lost, but the other three trees remain today and have been carefully maintained and protected, despite the ravages of storms Arwen and Babet.

Conservation within the Gallops 

The first in a series of works has restored access following a tree safety inspection within the Gallops. After Storm Arwen in late 2021, trees in the area were damaged and access closed from the Chinese Bridge downstream. Working with a professional tree inspector, Discovery Land Company (DLC) have agreed modifications to tree canopies to protect as much of the wildlife habitat as possible and prevent felling. 

This work will maintain tree stems with major cavities, significant decay, and extensive cracking – all attractive features to a range of wildlife and of ecological importance to the local area. Part of this work includes planting commercially grown exotic conifers to enhance the ecosystem and build out sterile habitats. 

Beech avenue maintenance 

The beech avenue is a key component of the 18-century designed landscape on Taymouth Castle Estate. DLC intends to retain as many of the original trees as safety allows to preserve this. Any significant gaps have been identified to enable replacement planting and promote the long-term conservation of the avenue feature. 

Several trees in the Kenmore conservation area have been identified for removal due to poor structural condition that poses a public safety risk. These trees are located to the east and south of the West Gate, opposite the school and the Highland Games ground.  

DLC has notified Perth & Kinross Council of planned tree removals in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act. No objections or concerns have been raised with the work subsequently approved by the Council. 

Hangman’s Hill woodland maintenance 

Finally, at Hangman’s Hill, woodland maintenance works are being undertaken to remove invasive Rhododendron shrubs, trees windblown in the previous decades, and other invasive woody plants in accordance with the estate’s landscape management plan and as approved by Perth & Kinross Council.