BCT holds a number of historic rights on behalf of the community, over the Commonty in the Forest of Birse. In particular, BCT is responsible for the management of forestry on the North Hill area under an agreement with Birse and Ballogie Estates. The area can be broadly divided into 4 elements:
- Areas close to the river which have been planted with native broad leaf trees (mainly silver birch, holly, and geans) which the Trust will leave to mature, slowly returning the area to its original natural state.
- An area of extensive natural regeneration and planting which has resulted in the repopulation of an extensive area (around 40 hectares) with native Scots Pine trees. In the medium term (the next 10-15 years), this area should require very little management as the trees grow and mature.
- The large open bowl centred around the Burn of Bogturk where there is a small amount of natural regeneration currently taking place.
- Finally, there are a number of well-established woods at both ends of the North Hill area. We are currently working with our forestry agent (Scottish Woodlands) to identify the best way forward for these areas. This could include looking at harvesting the non-native larch trees near the Forest of Birse Kirk and completing a limited thinning of the pine trees just to the north of the Road near the Kirk and at the Finlets in order to improve the bio diversity of these areas. If these trees are not thinned, they will prevent other plants from establishing themselves in the area.
Scottish Woodlands will produce an updated Forest Plan for the North Hill. We do not envisage any large scale planting in the near future and are looking to manage the woods in a low maintenance way in the short to medium term, focusing on removing the plastic tree tubes, reducing the risk of fire and the impact of deer, while at the same time balancing the level of access to the area. Once the Forest plan is updated, the Trust will hold a community consultation to outline our plans and the reasoning behind them.