Scotland’s rainforest is a coastal temperate rainforest and is as important as tropical rainforest but even rarer.
The Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest (ASR) has a shared interest in the conservation and sustainable development of this precious habitat which comprises the semi-natural woodlands of Scotland’s west coast where high rainfall, relatively mild temperatures and clean air provide the perfect conditions for mosses, liverworts and lichens – so called 'lower plants' - to thrive.
The sheer abundance, diversity and rarity of the species found in Scotland’s rainforest make this unique habitat internationally important, but it is under threat from overgrazing and invasive non-native species, particularly Rhododendron ponticum.
SRUC has been working with the Alliance for more than a year and has just been announced as a new partner.
Dr Hannah Rudman, Reader and Co-director of the Thriving Natural Capital Challenge Centre, has been looking at new and innovative ways to raise finance for ASR’s landscape-scale projects and is about to embark on a feasibility study with RSPB Scotland, as part of the Saving Morvern’s Rainforest project, to pilot a new fundraising mechanism involving the digital collection of decision-grade data focussed on the Glencripesdale Nature Reserve.
She has also acted in an advisory role for the Alliance as co-leader of the Scottish Nature Finance Pioneers - a network of more than 250 organisations from farm to finance - looking at opportunities for the Saving Scotland’s Rainforest project with natural capital private finance initiatives.
“We are delighted to welcome SRUC on board. It brings important skills and expertise to the partnership - both to help us find ways to unlock new forms of finance to enable us to take that crucial step up to large scale, ecological restoration of Scotland’s rainforest and developing ideas and projects to educate and train young people to provide longer-term social and economic opportunities within the rainforest zone.”
Julie Stoneman, project manager for the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest
“SRUC delivers accredited education, training, CPD and skills development from senior phase school through to degree and taught postgraduate, including full and part-time courses, apprenticeships, community learning and a range of short courses.
"SRUC’s course portfolio fits the Just Transition and Green Rural Economy agendas that both the Scottish Government and the Alliance are interested in, and we look forward to contributing appropriate skills development and learning opportunities.”
Dr Mary Thomson, SRUC’s Vice Principal of Skills and Life-long Learning