Christmas Tree Cash Boost for Red Squirrel Conservation in The Trossachs

In the run up to last Christmas the Duff Christmas Tree Farm of Buchylvie partnered with the Friends of Loch Lomond & Trossachs conservation charity to support the fight to save Red Squirrels in the Trossachs which is a major battleground to prevent the drift north of the stronger and more dominant grey squirrels.

The Christmas Tree Farm made a generous donation of almost £700 generated from a small levy on the sale of every tree sold as part of a very successful ‘cut your own Christmas Tree’ fundraising initiative, boosted with additional contributions from their customers. Visitors to the farm during December were greeted by Red Squirrel mascots, which helped raise awareness of the fundraising efforts.

The Christmas Tree Farm is on the edge of the National Park and the Duff family volunteered their support to help protect and grow the population of Red Squirrels in the Trossachs. This is a crucial area for the long-term conservation of these iconic and much loved endangered animals.

20th January 2021

Thanks to projects supported by Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs and others, the numbers of Red Squirrels are starting to increase, but more work needs to be done to ensure longer-term success. These funds will go towards a range of projects with local groups, including the installation of bird feeding boxes in the southern woodland areas of the Trossachs and nearby Gartmore.

Euan Duff of Duff Christmas Trees said: ‘’This year, despite Covid-19 we were able to safely maintain what for many is an important family tradition of choosing and cutting a Christmas Tree. We are delighted that the season was such a success and that so many people were able to participate.

With our position so close to the Highland Boundary Fault line we were very keen to support Red Squirrel conservation. We were delighted to be associated with Friends of Loch Lomond & Trossachs, as there is great synergy as we continue to ensure maintaining good environmental practices. Our green charter includes the planting of two trees for every one cut down and protection of ancient woodland that is on our farm.‘’

James Fraser, Chair of Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs said: ‘‘This is a positive news story amid the continuing gloom associated with the impact of Covid 19 and we are grateful to the Duff family at Duff Christmas Tree Farm for stepping up to the plate so enthusiastically to support the conservation of red squirrels along the Highland edge in Scotland’s first National Park at this time.

Not only have they and their customers raised much needed funds, but they have also helped to raise awareness of the urgent need to strengthen conservation efforts to save Red Squirrels. These funds will be well used and should help with the purchase of bulk supplies of red squirrel feeder boxes and squirrel feed which we plan to deploy by working closely with local groups in and around the Trossachs.’’