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Boosting plant diversity at Beldorney

We discovered an incredible 479 species at the Beldorney Estate in Banffshire, Scotland, while carrying out comprehensive surveys to help restore its valuable ecosystems.

Close up image of a white five petaled flower with yellow stamens in the centre. There are other flowers in the out of focus background

Extensive botanical surveys carried out by Plantlife have revealed huge potential to increase the number of species which make Scottish grasslands their home by improving the condition of these important habitats. 

Highlands Rewilding asked us to complete the specialist studies at the Beldorney Estate in North East Scotland. Their aim was to measure the biodiversity of the site so that an ecological baseline could be established. This would then be used to shape future management recommendations so that work to restore the estate’s ecosystems could begin. 

The survey findings

An incredible 479 different species were found during the surveys, highlighting the importance of the estate to both plant and animal life. In addition, we discovered lichen communities of national and international importance, along with a huge variety of vascular plants.  

The findings also showed significant potential to increase the richness of the species supported by the estate’s grasslands by improving their condition. This work has been identified as a top priority, while we have also been able to make additional management recommendations designed to maximise plant diversity in the future. 

The project’s next stages will see Highlands Rewilding introduce a mixture of rewilding and regenerative agriculture at the estate. The impact of these different approaches will then be monitored to provide evidence to help kickstart nature’s recovery across Britain and more widely. 

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Yellow rattle in a meadow

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Two people with looking at a plant with the mountain in the back drop

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