The peak of plant conservation talk

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THE NEXT afternoon talk organised by the National Trust for Scotland Angus Members’ Centre is on Thursday , November 15 at 2.30pm in the Guide Hall, Myre car park, Forfar.

Entitled ‘Ben Lawers: the Peak of Plant Conservation’, the talk will be given by Helen Cole, manager/senior ranger naturalist at Ben Lawers.

Ben Lawers, which is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland, is the highest of several Munros running in a long ridge along the north side of Loch Tay. Close to the village of Killin, the area around Ben Lawers was designated as a National Nature Reserve (NNR) in 1964.

It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Due to the combination of geology, altitude and climate Ben Lawers is home to a variety of plants that are normally found in more alpine or arctic environments. The diverse montane habitats - cliffs, peat bogs, grasslands, scrub and mires - are home to a number of rare or threatened species and conserving these different communities is one of the main aims of the reserve.

The draw of the high tops can bring over twenty thousand walkers a year to the area resulting in erosion of the paths and wear on the fragile vegetation. In order to limit this, but still allow open access, footpath repair is also a high priority in the management plan of the reserve and over the years a number of different methods have been pioneered to minimise the effect of the visitors on the landscape and repair previous damage.

The talk is open to everyone, no pre-booking necessary, so come along to the Guide Hall in Forfar at 2.30pm to learn more. The admission charge of £4 includes light refreshments after the meeting.