Species Champions: Aspen


Aspen is one of the rarest of Scotland’s native trees and our only native poplar. Aspen can grow to nearly 20m in height, it has grey bark, and its leaves are small and round in shape with irregular blunt teeth on their margins. Aspen are very important for conservation purposes as they provide important habitat for lichens, bryophytes and insects – including the rare Aspen Hoverfly.

Action Needed

  1. Help promote the citizen science project to map all Scotland’s existing aspen stands http://www.scottishaspen.org.uk/map/map
  2. Ensure that deer management plans consider the survival and flourishing of aspen stands.
  3. Support increased aspen planting for both commercial and ecological purposes.
  4. Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.
  5. Support increased native tree planting and ensure Scottish Government is on track with its 15,000 ha of new woodland planting by 2025.


Aspen have suffered from competing land uses such as intensive farming. Aspens have been forced to the margins on cliffs and remote river gullies. Aspen are also extremely vulnerable to browsing.

MSP Species Champion

John Finnie

Member for: Highlands and Islands

Party: Scottish Green Party

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