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Lon Mor Experiments 1925 to 1990 - Review
Forestry Memories
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No: 3077   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1993
Lon Mor Experiments 1925 to 1990 - Review

The review document is courtesy of Inverness, Ross and Skye Forest District and staff at their Fort Augustus office.

This very famous pioneering experiment and trial site located on deep peat and a low fertility site near Fort Augustus was used by the Forestry Commission Research Branch from 1925 until the 1990s and was a critical part of the process in formulating policies for cultivation, fertilising and species choice on nutrient poor peats and soils in particular from the 1940s onwards.

Jim Davidson who was a long term Forest Soil Mapping forester appears to have been given the task of reviewing the Lon Mor site to ascertain which experiments were still relevant as at 1993 and their condition. He has provided a very readable synopsis of the many of the cultivation, fertilising and species choice experiments that were present on the site and more than hints at the thousands of man hours spent in initially laying out, tending and then periodically measuring and tabulating the results. Successes and failures of which there were many were all analysed and compared with similar trials from other locations. Jim has used his skills to identify all the peat and soil types on the site and collate a map which helps place the experiments and their results in some context.

This site was host to experiments drawn up or instigated by individuals whose names are landmark signatures in the Forestry Commission’s history such as Prof Mark Anderson, Lord Robinson, J A B MacDonald to name but a few. From sites such as this the crucial knowledge trickled out of how best to establish successful productive forests on low nutrient peats and difficult soils that formed some of the main land types available to Scotland’s foresters from the 1940s onward.

Please open the PDF for the text and more maps.
Picture added on 21 October 2015
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