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Help save Scotland’s juniper

Over three quarters of Britain's native juniper population is found in Scotland, with its stronghold in Speyside.

Upland juniper bushes © Plantlife

© Plantlife

But all is not well:

  • Outside its stronghold, changing conditions in our woodlands and heathlands have reduced the amount of suitable habitat for juniper, meaning there are fewer places for it to grow.
  • The population is aging, as new bushes find it difficult to become established. Aging plants provide less viable seed and this locks many colonies into a downward spiral.
  • More recently juniper has faced another threat: a new disease, Phytopthera austrocedrae. Although little is known about it, it is fatal to juniper and has been recorded in some populations in Scotland.

Plantlife has been working to conserve juniper since 1989, working with land managers and communities to keep an eye on local populations and help them flourish.

But now we need your help.

How you can help

The first step to saving our Scottish juniper bushes is to assess their health. This is where you can help: Plantlife Scotland is running a survey to find out exactly how bad things are. In three steps you can make a difference to the fate of our native plants:

1. Download and print the survey form (click here).
2. Use it to record any Scottish juniper bushes you may encounter.
3. Enter your results on our online form (click here).

The senders of the first twenty survey forms received will be sent a complimentary bottle of gin from our supporters No.3 London Dry Gin

What else can I do?