Help uncover the ancient landscape of Cadzow THIS WEEKEND
- Chris McGinley, South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers
The recent removal of 18 hectares (or 6,500 tonnes) of non-native conifer trees from the High Parks at Chatelherault Country Park, will help native wildlife and has also revealed a long forgotten landscape, hidden for centuries. And you can be involved in revealing it, this coming weekend! Read on for details.
Chatelherault Country Park, part of the Clyde Valley National Nature Reserve, is one of the most biologically diverse natural habitats in Scotland. The ancient Cadzow oak forest, with some trees that are over 600 years old, has recently been ranked as the sixth most important ‘ancient tree hotspot’ in Scotland by The Woodland Trust.
Veteran trees are better than young ones because when trees get old they provide homes and food for a greater variety of wildlife. From insects to fungi, from bats to birds – old native trees are best!
Jackdaws and Goosander ducks nest in the hollow tree limbs which they share with different species of bat, and Jays, a colourful member of the crow family, collect acorns in the autumn.
Ravens, which only 15 years ago were considered rare with only 1000 pairs recorded in the whole of the UK, have returned to nest in the ancient woodlands at Chatelherault and have recently been seen at Calderglen in East Kilbride as well.
Another small bird called a Nuthatch that was once rare has also returned to Calderglen and Chatelherault making its nest in small holes in ancient tree trunks.
These old trees also point to a medieval landscape full of archaeological secrets that is being revealed by the removal of the plantation trees.
Help us uncover this hidden landscape by joining a drop-in weekend of investigation, Cadzow Uncovered, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March, 11am – 3pm each day. Help is required to clear a small promontory site at Chatelherault with hidden archaeology to allow archaeologists to survey and investigate further. Come along for an hour or two, or both days - every little bit of help will be invaluable.