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Environment / Land Use / Norway

If trees grow along Norway’s fjords why not in Highland glens?

Rewilding Scottish Highlands - Nordic Horizons
It seems some folk are sceptical about how well trees would grow in the Highlands or on the fifth of Scotland’s landmass currently covered with grouse moors. There’s wind and rain and the soil is pretty degraded. So maybe the glens are just too barren for any other land use? On no, they’re not. Watch this excellent presentation including a 6 min video by Scots/Norway expert Duncan Halley of the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research, speaking at the Nordic Horizons event “Nurturing Nature” a few years ago. Then decide if Scotland is ready for a Norwegian-style reforestation programme with a wider variety of species – and a much, much wider variety of landowners.

If you’d like to know more, here’s a brilliant article by Rewilding Britain with more of Duncan’s jaw-dropping before and after reafforestation images.

The Nurturing Nature event – Digital Notes

Comparing land quality and land use in South West Norway and Scotland

Dr. Duncan Halley, Research Ecologist, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research – NINA

Sponsored by Rob Gibson MSP

Scottish Parliament December 1st 6pm

South West Norway and Highland Scotland are closely similar in climate, geology and landforms; but very different in land cover, human population and land use. SW Norway is rapidly reforesting but Scotland is not. Rural areas are more heavily populated. Is that because southwest Norway is so very different in the basic conditions of life – or because land use history differs profoundly on either side of the North Sea?

Duncan Halley (a Scot who has lived and worked in Norway for 20 years) describes how moorland in Norway has transformed to farmland and woodland and makes comparisons with land in the Scottish Highlands. His observations are timely. The Land Reform Bill is continuing its progress through the Scottish Parliament amidst assertions that much of the land in the Scottish Highlands and Borders is fit only for use by sporting estates.

Could the appearance and productivity of Scottish land more closely resemble its Nordic cousin if land use here was changed?

The “Nurturing Nature” event with Dr Duncan Halley of the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research was an interesting and thought provoking evening. Committee Room 3 in the Parliament was full and there was a large audience on the livestream. We have put together all the digital materials from the event; a short interview, a video recording of the talk , downloadable copy of the slides and audio of the whole session.


Download Landscape history and land use in SW Norway – Duncan Halley, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. Presentation at the Scottish Parliament.

Vimeo Video Resources

In this short interview Dr Duncan Halley of the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research outlines the background and rationale for the regeneration of SW Norway.

Nurturing Nature from Nordic Horizons on Vimeo.

Just in case you missed the excellent Dr Duncan Halley of the Norwegian Institute of Nature Research at the Nordic Horizons event “Nurturing Nature” this – here is a recording of the live stream video below. Thanks to Gerry and Gavin of DemocracyTV for all their hard work and expertise in working this magic.

For those of you following the livestream, you can also download Duncan Halley’s presentation ( >13 Mb ) here to follow along.

There is a Livestream of this event via Democracy TV – this link should take you to their site.

Soundcloud Podcasts

Main presentation – audio recordings and supplementary audio of the Q&A session.


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