Native woodland and grazing in SW Norway late July 2022
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Native woodland and grazing in SW Norway late July 2022

The aim of this course is to provide people working in Scottish upland land management the opportunity to see and hear how native woodland has been responding to changes in grazing pressure in the part of Scandinavia most environmentally similar to Scotland.  Participants will visit a variety of biodiverse, reforested landscapes from exposed coast to mountain top, where climate and geology are very similar to our own, and where multiple land uses such as forestry, hunting and farming, are often practised together.

Woodland Regeneration & Grazing in South West Norway
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Woodland Regeneration & Grazing in South West Norway

It was amazing to explore the regenerating forests in SW Norway and to understand better how native forests can develop with a lower browsing pressure.

Deer management practices differ between Norway and Scotland, with carcass weights used to determine deer quotas in Norway, indicating the overall health of the population and helping to balance its impacts on woodland regeneration.

Cultural and social factors have influenced the woodland regeneration we saw, from the abandonment of farms over the 20th Century to the different attitudes to hunting, foraging and land-use in Norway.

The diversity of species and structure in the Norwegian forest sets an example for us to aspire to in Scotland, and we need to consider how to integrate a rebounding forest within Scotland’s cultural and social setting.

Landbruk: lessons for Scotland from Norway
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Landbruk: lessons for Scotland from Norway

The Heart of Scotland Forest Partnership are based in Perthshire, Scotland. Here, public, private, community and charity partners are working together to connect woodlands across Highland Perthshire. Members of the partnership were recently given the opportunity to visit Norway on a training course developed by ARCH, hosted by Duncan Halley and NINA (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research) and funded through the Erasmus+ programme.

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