ABOVE Muckhart and into Glen Devon lies a marvellous expanse of newly planted natural woodland which is abuzz with a wide variety of wildlife.

In an ambitious project managed by Woodland Trust Scotland (WTS), over 1.5 million native trees have been planted in an exciting initiative to create a forest that mirrors the landscape found in historical times.

The result is a mosaic landscape of natural woodland and open areas that benefits biodiversity and enhances people's enjoyment of the landscape.

On my most recent visit, the broad sweep of young native trees was marvellous to see, including birch, alder, oak, bird cherry, hazel and rowan.

It was an invigorating landscape, so full of life and natural vibrancy that my heart sang with joy.

As I wandered along a path, a drift of mountain pansies caught my eye. They are among our most stunning wildflowers, little purple gems of perfection, with their two large top petals looking somewhat akin to rabbit ears.

In the centre of the flower is a yellow heart of sunshine, gently inscribed with darker lines, which are honey guides to help lure insects into the centre of the bloom.

On the yellow flower of a nearby bird's-foot trefoil, a small bumblebee buzzed, its orange furry rear-end catching the sunshine.

It was a blaeberry bumblebee, a scarce species that haunts our hillsides. They are real sun-lovers – as soon as the sun is out, they appear as if from nowhere, and should a dark cloud scuttle by, they vanish just as quick.

Small heath butterflies abounded, flitting low over the ground on fast beating wings.

They are miniscule, tawny-coloured butterflies with subtle flashes of orange on their wings.

Then, a much larger butterfly swept past me – a dark green fritillary, which are always frustrating to watch as they are loathe to settle and are continually on the move.

Everywhere I looked, there was something new to see, and with a spring in my step, I continued on my way, stopping every so often to examine the eclectic mix of wildflowers by my feet and the insects that they were attracting.