Species Champions: Holly

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Holly is easily identified by its red berries and evergreen leaves, it can be found in woodlands, scrub and hedgerows.  Holly trees can live for 300 years and are much loved by wildlife such as nesting birds, hedgehogs and dormice because it offers both food and shelter. There are many stories associated with holly, one of the most interesting is one from Celtic mythology: the Holly King was said to rule over the half of the year from the summer to the winter solstice, at which time the Oak King defeated the Holly King to rule for the time until the summer solstice again.

Action Needed

  1. Advocate for better protection for trees, especially ancient trees and woodlands, through the planning process.
  2. Support increased native tree planting and ensure Scottish Government is on track with its 15,000 ha of new woodland planting by 2025.
  3. Ensure local authorities are meeting their duty to protect and enhance biodiversity, as per the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.

Threats

Prone to Phytophthora infections in the horticultural context as well as aphids, scale insects and holly leaf miner. Native tree regeneration is continuously
threatened by large deer numbers.

MSP Species Champion

Graham Simpson

Member for: Central Scotland

Party: Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party

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