Merkland Wood part of the Jubilee Ancient Canopy

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron of The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), has unveiled a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Woodlands and 70 Ancient Trees to be dedicated to Her Majesty in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.

The Arran Ranger Service report: 

The National Trust for Scotland is delighted that Merkland Wood at Brodick Country Park has been chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Woodlands to be dedicated to The Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.

The Queen’s Green Canopy recently announced the network of 70 Ancient Woodlands and 70 Ancient Trees across the United Kingdom which will form part of the Ancient Canopy to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service. The initiative was launched by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of The Queen’s Green Canopy, under one of the Ancient Tree dedications – the old Sycamore located at Dumfries House in Scotland. His Royal Highness is also the Patron of the National Trust for Scotland.

Across Scotland, four of the conservation charity’s woodlands have been selected to be part of the network, including Merkland Wood at Brodick Country Park on Arran.

The woodland is part of a nationally significant wider historic designed landscape surrounding Brodick Castle, which dates back to at least 1703. The mature woodlands were established in two phases between 140 and 240 years ago. It is made up of sessile oak, european larch, ash, scots pine, beech and silver fir. The woodland supports the endangered red squirrel, as well as otters and badgers. Dead wood is retained to help support a myriad of insect life and to provide bat roosting and bird nesting habitats.

Trees in Merkland Wood. Credit: Arran Ranger Service

Stuart Brooks, Head of Conservation and Policy at the National Trust for Scotland said: “We are very honoured that Merkland Wood has been selected to be part of this celebration. It is a wonderful demonstration of the diversity of woodland habitats that the Trust has in its care, with its rich range of species.

“Unique in its make up and character, this woodland has stood for centuries, contributing to Arran’s biodiversity, absorbing carbon and benefitting us all with their nature, beauty and heritage.

“Our charity is proud to play its part in protecting it now and for the future, and through our regeneration and management work, will ensure that Merkland Wood continues to thrive for many more centuries to come.”

Established over hundreds of years, the chosen woodlands and trees represent the diverse canopy of the four nations, it is a celebration of our living heritage. All the woodlands and trees have a story to tell. Some are famous specimens and others have a local significance.

These Ancient natural spaces hold significance and meaning for so many people in many different ways. They are symbols of community pride, places to connect socially and vital spaces for health and wellbeing activities.

By sharing the stories behind the Ancient woodlands and trees, as well as the incredible efforts that are made to protect them, The Queen’s Green Canopy aims to raise awareness of these treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations.

Featured image shows Merkland Wood from the south end of Dukes Bay. Credit: Arran Ranger Service