I am walking along a waymarked trail under young birch, rowan and bird cherry trees holding out their summer leaves. An incline gives way to a sheep stell. With views into the valley, I run my eyes along the high peaks ahead. The hum of insects and flutter of woodland birds bring sound and movement to the mosaic of hawthorn, wych elm, guelder rose and many more trees and plants.

I’m at Carrifran Wildwood, a 1,600-acre ice-carved valley in the hills of southern Scotland. Since the year 2000, when the site was purchased by the then fledgling charity Borders Forest Trust, 600,000 trees have ...


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