Today is the day that we are saying goodbye to our two rangers Thomas and Heather who have been out diligently patrolling the forest, talking to visitors on the reserve and making sure that the natural heritage of Abernethy is protected. It has been wonderful having them on our team and particularly for myself as Heather is always sending me wonderful photos she has taken on her patrols of the reserve. Heather had been set the task of doing a 5 photo challenge to describe a natural process and I am delighted to be able to share this with you. All of these photos were taken around Loch Uaine at Glenmore that will one day be considered part of the same reserve. Maybe not to us humans but by the species that need it most. Here is Heather's story.  

On a recent Cairngorms Connect field trip, we were given the challenge of “Telling a Story” in five photos. I chose dead wood as my theme. Perhaps the photography skills need a little work but here goes …

Deadwood brings life to a regenerating forest.

There is more life in a dead tree than a living one!

It is home or food source to birds (crested tits nest in pine snags; great spotted woodpeckers roost in holes/cavities), bats, invertebrates (such as beetles and the elusive pine hoverfly), fungi, moss and lichen.

Hummocks in ancient pinewoods form as old tree stumps become colonised by moss and lichen, then blaeberry and heather, and, with the passage of time, birch and pine.

There has been a huge decline in deadwood due to management practices in the past. This is now being addressed by landowners in the Cairngorms Connect landscape-scale regeneration project.