Wild Land Management Services John Muir Trust
Biodiversity & woodland
Maintaining designated sites and encouraging natural processes

The biodiversity of wild land should be as close as possible to a ‘natural ecosystem’ that has evolved primarily through the influence of the soils and the climate. Native habitats are the fabric of natural ecosystems. To achieve wild land ecosystem health the full range of habitat – from the mountain tops to glen or valley floor – should be present and self-sustaining.

In many cases, woodlands – including montane scrub, riparian woodland and native woodland – are the missing components of wild land ecosystems due to years of burning and overgrazing by deer and sheep. Consequently, woodland management is often a key component of biodiversity management.

Standards 8-12 relate to the management of biodiversity and woodland

Natural landscapes
Minimal intervention except to kick-start natural processes

Monitoring growth

“We regularly monitor the growth of tree seedlings, the condition of habitats such as dwarf shrub heath, and the state of wildlife across our properties. This helps us set aims and objectives and measure our success in restoring natural habitats.

Encouraging biodiversity in this way is a long term project but crucial to the ecological health of our natural world and environment. It’s exciting and encouraging for the future that we are already seeing small positive changes.”

Liz Auty, Property Manager and former Biodiversity Officer, John Muir Trust

A world without fences

The Trust’s aim is to encourage and facilitate natural ecological processes with minimum intervention. This means encouraging woodlands to reach their natural potential through natural regeneration, without fencing, based on soil conditions, altitude and exposure.

Where conditions are suitable for woodland but seed sources are no longer present, planting and protection may be needed to kick-start the natural process.