*Banner image: Group photo showing representatives of the many contributors to this innovative tree planting agreement. Contributors include ACT, SSEN Transmission, Argyll and Bute Council, Lochgilphead Community Council, M & K Macleods, Taynuilt Trees, and Ian Duncan Contractors. 

SSEN Transmission, ACT, and Argyll and Bute Council have joined forces to help deliver SSEN Transmission’s compensatory tree planting commitments and in doing so, help support and enhance Scotland’s rainforest in Argyll.

Argyll's rainforest, also known as Atlantic woodland, temperate rainforest or Celtic rainforest, is a unique and rare habitat of ancient and native woodland, open glades, boulders, rocky cliffs and river gorges.  Scotland is now the last stronghold for this habitat that was once widespread along the Atlantic coast of Europe.  The mild, wet climate of the west coast of Scotland provides perfect growing conditions for this diverse habitat that supports a variety of plants and animals.

The ground-breaking partnership will see ACT help deliver SSEN Transmission’s compensatory tree planting relating to its Inveraray-Crossaig transmission project, with the initial phase of planting underway on Argyll and Bute Council’s sites near Lochgilphead in Argyll.  By planting native species, the planting will support local flora and fauna, creating natural habitats for native species to thrive, supporting SSEN Transmission’s commitments to deliver biodiversity net gain and compensatory planting on all its major projects. 

The planting will also create a natural asset for the local community to enjoy for generations to come, leaving a positive lasting legacy beyond SSEN Transmission’s primary objective of delivering a network for net zero emissions across the north of Scotland.

The partnership was formally announced this week in Lochgilphead, with members of SSEN Transmission, ACT, and Argyll and Bute Council coming together to undertake some of the initial native species planting.

Richard Baldwin, Head of Consenting and the Environment for SSEN Transmission, said:

“I’m really excited about our partnership with ACT to deliver our compensatory planting for our Inveraray-Crossaig project.  By working in partnership with local experts we can ensure our compensatory planting focusses on the right species, in the right locations, to deliver the right outcomes for the local communities in which we operate.

“Argyll’s rainforests are a truly stunning and precious resource and we’re delighted to be playing a small part in helping ensure the long term sustainability of this nationally significant natural asset.  You can’t help but be mesmerised when you first discover Argyll’s rainforest and ACT’s dedication and passion to protect and enhance this wonderful natural asset is great to be part of. 

“As we continue to deliver a network for net zero emissions across the north of Scotland, we are committed to doing so in a responsible and sustainable way, helping sustain and enhance the local habitats in which we operate. We look forward to building on this initial planting project with ACT and other community organisations across the north of Scotland, leaving a positive legacy for generations to come.”

Ross Lilley, ACT Chairman, said:

“This partnership with SSEN Transmission and Argyll and Bute Council has been a very significant one for ACT as we’ve been able to create new native woodland sites which is an important part of Argyll’s Rainforest Strategy. 

“By improving existing woodland, as we have recently done at Kilmory and Glenan woods with extensive Rhododendron ponticum removal, and gradually linking up the clusters of Rainforest with new planting, we can create corridors for the rare species that are unique to our Rainforest habitat to thrive.  

“Argyll is incredibly fortunate to be home to more than half of Scotland’s rainforest and to ensure that it is safeguarded, we will need a partnership approach from businesses, communities and agencies.  This agreement between SSEN Transmission, ACT and Argyll and Bute Council is a great example of what can be achieved.”

Ross Mclaughlin, Head of Commercial Services at Argyll and Bute Council said: 

It’s important that we take all steps we can to make day-to-day life in Argyll and Bute climate-friendly. We are pleased therefore to support this woodland conservation initiative. Becoming climate-friendly is about developing sustainable ways of living and working, to protect the planet on which we all depend for our future generations.”


Ross Mclaughlin (Argyll & Bute Council), Ross Lilley (ACT) and Richard Baldwin (SSEN Transmission) plant a tree at the planting site in Kilmory, Lochgilphead. 
Tree planting in action