Donald Barrie, The James Hutton Institute

The Integrating Trees Network is managed by Scottish Forestry and the Scottish Government

Logos for Scottish Forestry and the Scottish Government on a clear background.

Donald Barrie, Glensaugh, The James Hutton Institute

Donald Barrie has been managing the 1,000 hectare hill farm of Glensaugh for 22 years. A research station since 1943, Glensaugh continues to be managed as a commercial livestock unit.

Lying between 160 and 400m and with around 50 hectares of improved grass the farm carries a stock of 320 Scottish Blackface ewes, 400 mule ewes, 40 Luing suckler cows and a 90 farmed red deer hinds. Hill lambs and suckled calves are sold as stores while crossbred lambs and red deer calves are normally sold as prime stock.

Glensaugh’s woodlands expanded from around 17 to 70 hectares between 2008 and 2018 as areas of World War I felling were restocked and other new woodlands were designed into the landscape. A further 100 hectares were planted in 2022, resulting in a displacement of some of the hill ewes. All livestock will benefit from the shelter added to the environment while the growing of timber and creation and linking of habitats add long term value to the site as a whole.

Donald’s key messages

An introductory event at Glensaugh took place on 27 July, 2023. Donald’s key messages were:

    • Exclude livestock and control deer and rabbits.
    • Kill bracken and cut and kill whins [gorse].
    • Plant densely and thin early.
    • Think long term; plant some oak trees every year and your successors will thank you for it.
    • Fell some trees every year; before they outgrow the sawmill or are blown down in the wind.

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