The country’s largest conservation charity is asking the public for support to protect and enrich Scotland’s woodlands – including helping to save rare native species.

The Catacol whitebeam (Sorbus pseudomeinichii) is one of the most endangered species in the world, with just two remaining trees thought to be in the wild, growing in Glen Catacol, on the isle of Arran.

The island is home to two other rare and endangered species of tree – the Arran whitebeam (Sorbus arranensis) and the cut-leaved whitebeam (Sorbus pseudofennica) – and so the National Trust for Scotland is working with other organisations, community groups and tree specialists to rescue the species and boost their numbers. 

The programme to nurture these rare trees is part of the conservation charity’s wider projects to replant and support the regeneration of native woodland, not just on Arran but also at other special places under its care, including the Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve (NNR) and sites across the north east of Scotland. This includes replacing woodlands devastated by the storms of 2021 to 2023, which brought down millions of trees all over Scotland.

In support of its woodland restoration and conservation projects across Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland has launched a ‘Dedicate a Tree’ appeal, an opportunity for supporters to protect Scotland’s woodlands for generations to come, perhaps in celebration or memory of loved ones, as a gift, or as an investment in the future of places that they care about.

READ MORE: Old quarry pond in forest park given dragonfly-friendly makeover

Previous donors have celebrated anything from 103rd birthdays to a five-year old grandchild learning to ride, to holidays in Scotland, to the NHS.

Kate Sampson, the National Trust for Scotland’s Head Ranger at Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park and Goatfell, on the Isle of Arran, said: “Glen Rosa is a fabulous iconic Highland landscape in the heart of Arran, which has been depleted of trees since humans came here around 4,000 years ago – by people building roundhouses and shielings, then by sheep, and now by deer."

She continued: “People have had huge impacts on this amazing landscape – and of course on other landscapes around Scotland – and now our people and supporters at the National Trust for Scotland have been working to put back these trees.

"To date, we’ve planted around 39,000 native trees in Glen Rosa, thanks to generous support from donors and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery which allowed us to fence off a large area from deer, and when you put back trees, you also put back biodiversity. This year we’ve had a plant here in Glen Rosa – a globe flower – which has not been recorded in Arran since around 1769!

“We hope that our members and supporters will continue to back our wonderful woodland regeneration projects and progress – on Arran and the other wonderful and important landscapes supported by our charity’s Dedicate a Tree appeal. Even a few pounds, donated at, can help us breathe new life into Scotland’s woodlands.”

Philip Long OBE, the National Trust for Scotland’s Chief Executive, said: “Our charity looks after so much of what makes Scotland wonderful, and this includes our natural landscapes, woodlands, and forests.

"In recent years, storms and the increasingly concerning impacts of the climate crisis have caused and contributed to severe destruction across the woodlands cared for by the Trust, uprooting ancient specimen trees, destroying the shelterbelts that protect some of our most loved designed landscapes and gardens, and also damaging treasured historic buildings in our care.

“As the Trust takes on our largest tree replanting projects to date, we will continue to rely on the support of those who care for Scotland’s woodlands, natural landscapes, and ecosystems as much as we do.

"By dedicating a tree, people of all ages can help us to replant endangered native species, increase the biodiversity of our places, restore Scotland’s woodlands and mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis, as well as celebrating and commemorating their loved ones in a meaningful way.

"Every tree dedicated really will benefit our natural landscapes across Scotland, helping our charity to ensure Scotland’s nature, heritage and beauty remains protected and there for generations to come.”