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Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2023

Monday, 06 March 2023

Every year we take on around 25 apprentices throughout our organisation, and all across Scotland. From Trees and Timber to Mechanical Engineering, and Procurement to Data Science, we're proud to offer apprenticeships across a wide variety of disciplines. For Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2023, we asked several of our apprentices about why they joined Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), and their expe...

A field with a loch and trees

Spending a day along the Queen’s Way in Galloway

Monday, 13 February 2023

Galloway is a great place to explore, with animal experiences to stunning walks and lochs.  The Queen’s Way is a 17-mile scenic road that runs between New Galloway and Newton Stewart. Though the drive is lovely on its own, there are also plenty of stops to enjoy along the way. We put together a list of our favourite things to do in the forest park that should keep you busy for the whole da...

A tablet in a harvesting site with a map

Off-the-shelf GPS could improve UK timber quality

Tuesday, 07 February 2023

We are currently trialing an off-the-shelf GPS to find out whether it can help further increase timber quality by improving a key stage of tree planting. The excavator-mounted GPS device will be assessed during ground preparation work across forests in Dumfries and Galloway. Our team hopes this new system will help deliver consistent mounding spacing, ensuring a uniform establishment and u...

A dark understory under a rhododendron plant

Rhododendron ponticum: the silent killer of Scotland's rainforest

Wednesday, 01 February 2023

Scotland is home to a range of rare temperate rainforests. These are woodlands native to the west of Scotland which are made up of birch, hazel, ash, oak and pine trees. They're rich in biodiversity and capture vast amounts of carbon.   Yet they're under threat. In the late eighteenth century Rhododendron ponticum (referred to simply as rhododendron in the rest of this blog) was intro...

A male capercaillie sitting on a mud mound

Using remote cameras to boost capercaillie conservation efforts in the Highlands

Monday, 23 January 2023

Almost a hundred cameras were set up across the 60,000 hectares of land that makes up the Cairngorms Connect project area. The equipment captured over 3,000 images and videos of capercaillie, from April to October of 2022, giving us a more accurate assessment of their distribution and breeding success in the Highlands. Cairngorms Connect is a partnership working to enhance habitats, species and...

Mountain biker's back wheel going through muddy puddle

Masterplan Update – January 2023

Sunday, 22 January 2023

2023 is a big year for Glentress and we have a lot of work ahead of us to host two events of the UCI World Cycling Championships in September. Here's a run down of where things stand: Multi-user path What is it? This path will connect into the existing trail network and provide almost 4km of trails accessible to walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users. The main construction of the path is on the...

A group of people looking at lichen on an oak tree

Lichen survey at Whitelee forest

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

We recently hosted a volunteer event at Whitelee forest, just south of East Kilbride. This event was attended by volunteers from SRUC, ORCS (Oatridge Conservation Volunteers) and lichenologist John Douglass. Our staff are currently working with John to conduct surveys of some of the nationally significant lichen habitats within the Whitelee forest block. The day-long event involved practical lic...

Silver hazel stems next to a larger tree

Protecting rare species on west coast hazel

Wednesday, 04 January 2023

Hazel coppicing was a traditional practice in lowland Britain and is often now carried out to support biodiversity that needs temporary open space in woodlands. However, this form of management can be disastrous for the biodiversity that inhabits Scotland’s rainforests. Hazel is a native broadleaf tree that typically grows as multiple stems from a single stump or ‘stool’. These long strai...

A finished FLS sign painted green

Making our signs

Thursday, 15 December 2022

Our green signs are a well-known sight across Scotland and welcome thousands of people to our forests every year. But have you ever wondered how they’re made? In this article, we take a trip to Border Signs and Graphics in Dumfries to find out.  With over 300 forests across Scotland, numerous offices and hundreds of miles of off-road trails, we need a lot of signs. Recently that has been t...

a stone carin on the top of a hill with heather

Some of our favourite storytelling forests

Friday, 02 December 2022

This is the ‘Year of Stories’ and forests can be great places to learn about the past and often have some secrets of their own.   We have put together a list of some of our favourite walking trails that have some amazing stories waiting for you to discover. Dunnottar Woods  Lively community wood in the grounds of Dunnottar House.  Just a short walk from Stonehaven, this wo...

Front cover of a book called To Build A Broch

To translate a broch

Monday, 28 November 2022

Dr Alasdair MacCaluim describes the translation of To Build a Broch, an important new learning resource from our archaeology team, into Gaelic. To view in Gaelic, use the button below to toggle the English translation on and off. Tha an Dr Alasdair MacCaluim a’ toirt cunntas air a bhith ag eadar-theangachadh To Build a Broch / A Thogail Dùn, agus a bhith a’ cruthachadh goireas arc-eòlais cu...

A black and white image of a wooden box in trees with a light in the box

Thermal imaging trial helping with pine marten surveys

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Specially-designed thermal imaging cameras are being used to identify an increasing population of pine martens. Our South Region is currently trialling an innovative technique using thermal imaging cameras to survey over 100 artificial den boxes in Galloway Forest. Trials have been taking place over the past year and have showed positive results for monitoring the local pine marten population....

A wind blown pine tree in a forest

Wind blow and deadwood in forests can be a force for good

Monday, 14 November 2022

Although storm damage can hinder public access to forests and take time to clear, it is an essential part of the forest ecosystem. Alongside normal harvesting and storm clearance work, forest managers now purposely leave a proportion of wind blow and deadwood – instead of ‘tidying up’ forests, to create habitats for all kinds of species. Our Environmental Advisor, Philippa Murphy,&n...

Cycle path through a lush woodland

Our favourite forests for cycling

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Our forests are more than just great places for a stroll, they are amazing places to enjoy a leisurely cycle. From daylong routes to shorter treks, we have put together our favourite places to enjoy an easy cycle in our forests. Tentsmuir Known for its stunning beach and iconic sand dunes, Tentsmuir is also a great place for a bike ride. The forest is ideal for an easy cycle with a good networ...