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Trust shares more details on carbon off-setting plans in Cairngorms National Park

By Gavin Musgrove

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Young woodlands by the Speyside Way looking towards the Cairngorms. From library file and not related to sale.
Young woodlands by the Speyside Way looking towards the Cairngorms. From library file and not related to sale.

Standard Life Investments Property Income Trust has given more details as it is embarks on a large scale ecological restoration project in the Cairngorms National Park.

SLIPIT said the acquisition of the significant area of land is part of a wider strategy of achieving net zero but also provides an opportunity to do more with an ecological restoration plan that will deliver 'a raft of co-benefits beyond carbon sequestration'.

The aim is to restore woodland and peatland over the 1,440 hectares, planting over 1.5 million trees, at the site which has not been specified by the trust.

A SLIPIT spokesperson said: "Focusing on native broadleaf and Scots Pine, the woodland creation element of the project will improve amenity, enhance biodiversity, mitigate flooding and improve air quality while restoring the drained peatlands.

"The land acquired by SLIPIT had been under traditional sporting management for red grouse and deer shooting but in recent years, the red deer and stag numbers have dropped significantly and there has been no hill sheep grazing.

"The implementation of the restoration strategy will significantly boost the local economy with between 50 to 100 people involved in woodland creation and peatland restoration over the next six years."

The trust is working with Kilrie Trees who have already begun seed collection from the site to ensure the establishment and provenance of the woodland.

The trees from these seeds will be grown in the firm's cutting edge carbon negative tree nursery in Fife before returning to the site over the next few years.

Jason Baggaley, fund manager of SLIPIT, said they and their partners KF Forestry, and Kilrie Trees are committed to ensuring the establishment of a biodiverse native woodland.

He said this will support the local economy, improves access and amenity, and enhance the landscape, all while delivering on carbon goals.

Mr Baggaley commented: “This is a significant scheme, with over 1.5m trees to be planted.

"I firmly believe that embracing ESG in our investment strategy will create value for our investors."

Renwick Drysdale, of KF Forestry, commented: “We have been working closely with key stakeholders for over a year to design our science based native woodland and peatland restoration plan.

"We see this as a landmark step for the use of private capital in enhancing and regenerating the landscape.

"If we are to deal with the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss, while improving the landscape, we need business and government working together with local communities and experts to deliver meaningful and ecologically sensitive change."

A spokesman for SLIPIT told the Strathy: "At the moment we cannot release details of the actual site as the vendor has not yet approved that."

SLIPIT is a REIT listed on the London Stock exchange (under the Ticker SLI) that has gross assets of circa £450m and invests in a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate assets in the UK with the aim of providing investors with an attractive income return and the potential of income and capital growth.

Further information can be found on SLIPIT by clicking here

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