Lakeland Aspen Project
The Lakeland Aspen Project commenced in autumn 2013, when we conducted a survey focusing on the Lake District National Park area, to locate and record native aspen stands. This exercise combined with the collation of biological records, was successful in identifying 35 clones scattered across the region. This preliminary work suggested that aspen is more common here than in Scotland although still uncommon. However, current records were patchy and there had at the time little or no conservation work or research focusing on aspen in the area as far as we were aware.
We selected 30 priority clones found in a diverse range of locations, including riparian, woodland, wetland, upland and montane. Over the winter of 2015, we revisied sites and collected root cuttings. These were propagated back at our nursery to create a stock for our clone bank and with the surplus trees planted out at Simpson's Land in the Southern Lakes.
A total of 147 aspen trees belonging to 27 clones were planted in replicated blocks with the location of each clone recorded to enable future monitoring of growth for comparison.
We are grateful for the support of Mike Cavanagh who has sponsored this project and offered the land for the clone trial. We look forward to seeing the aspen maturing to form a stunning landscape feature and a resource for study.