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Water voles: the mini eco-system engineers of the Trossachs

Monday, 15 February 2021

Beavers typically get all the glory when it comes to building ecosystems, but water voles also play an important part in shaping Scottish wetlands. Though not as well-known, these small but mighty creatures are eco-system engineers, positively impacting biodiversity and helping plants grow.   Eco-system engineers are animals whose very existence can change the environment they live...

A female forestry worker standing in a cotton bog

Celebrating women in science

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

From Rachel Carson to Jane Goodall this world has seen many fierce women in the field of science. FLS is lucky to have our own team of scientists pushing the boundaries of conservation and land management.   We want to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science by highlighting some of the work women in forestry are doing right here in Scotland and impacting our land at a v...

Close up of red squirrel perched on log with tail wrapped up over its back

Squirrel facts

Monday, 25 January 2021

The red squirrel is one of our favourite forest dwellers. Bright and colourful with a cheeky personality, they’re a perennial favourite. Here are a few interesting facts you might not know about this compact critter.  Double-jointed The red squirrel has double-jointed ankles allowing it to climb up and down trees with immense agility. Being so flexible allows them to grip on precarious ...

Several reindeer standing on an open hillside with snow-capped mountains beyond

Winter Coats

Tuesday, 08 December 2020

With the temperature dropping and snow upon the mountains, it’s time to dig out your winter coat. Many animals are no different. With the need to stay warm during the winter months, or wishing to stay hidden in a changing landscape, being able to alter your colouring is a useful trick adopted by several Scottish animals. Here we have a look at some classic examples.  Mountain Hare The m...

Snow covered rocks in a fast flowing river

Top 5 Winter Walks

Tuesday, 08 December 2020

  The forest can be a wonderful place for a walk at any time of the year, but the crisp quiet of a wintry day is both calming and inspiring. Here’s our top 5 forest walks for when the temperature plummets and snow starts to fall…    Lochan Uaine and Ryvoan, Cairngorms The turquoise waters of the Green Lochan never fail to inspire, and all the more so when surrounded by ...

Forest Operations and Red Squirrel Conservation

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Scientific Name: Sciurus vulgaris Population in Scotland: Around 120,000 Population on FLS land: 50,000 Population health: decline Greatest threat: Grey Squirrel Fun fact: Red Squirrels eat the seeds from coniferous cones, which are not produced until the tree is around 30-years-old.   The red squirrel is an iconic part of Scotland’s fauna. Though they are active during the...

Trees on a hillside with a dusting of snow

Tree Trials: Testing trees for the future

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

With more frequent occurences of extreme weather, and increased spread in tree-based diseases, how do we prepare forests throughout Europe to meet the strain of climate change? Back in 2012 several trials were started throughout the UK to monitor how different tree species coped in the changing British climate with the aim of diversifying future planting to create more resilient forests. Here, Mat...

Inside the Complex World of Lichen

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Lichen is a hidden gem in our woodlands, often overlooked and underappreciated.  Scotland is home to over 1,500 different species of lichen, which makes up around 87% of all lichen found in Britain. Lichens tend to thrive in our relatively clean air, cool summers, mild winters, and our higher levels of rainfall which occur throughout the year. This is especially true of western Scotland, whi...

Fallen leaves on the ground with bright autumnal colours

Why Do Trees Lose Their Leaves?

Monday, 09 November 2020

The changing of seasons from summer to autumn brings about a startling change in many trees with vivid greens giving way to bright yellows, oranges and reds. Then, the leaves fall leaving bare trunks and skeletal branches. So what is really going on? Why do trees lose their leaves in autumn? Let’s find out.  Disappearing Green  Different natural chemicals within trees produce diffe...

Sea eagle flying over the sea with a fish in its talons

Managing Woodland For Sea Eagles

Friday, 06 November 2020

White Tail Eagle Facts:  Scientific Name: Haliaeetus albicilla Population in Scotland:  There are now more than 100 territorial pairs in Scotland Population Status: Still a rare species in Scotland Fun Fact:  The oldest recorded individual was more than 32 years old. That’s old for a bird!  White-tailed eagles, or sea eagles, are an endangered species that was...

Female natterer's bat

Bats at Tentsmuir Forest

Wednesday, 04 November 2020

Until recently conifer woodlands were not known to be great places for bats, but Tentsmuir Forest was at the forefront of changing these perceptions. In 1985 the first bat boxes were put up by the Fife Bat Group (now known as the Fife and Kinross Bat Group). Colonies of pipistrelle bats quickly moved into these boxes but, more surprisingly, they noticed the arrival of natterer's bats, a bat nor...

Dark trees in a forest at night

Spooky Stories

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Autumn might be full of colour, but when night falls, the forest can be a scary place. Dark trees, eerie sounds, a cold that steals your breath away. Give yourself a chill this halloween in some of our spookiest forests!   Blairadam  Trail: Blairenbathie Mine Trail Distance: 2 1/2 miles / 4.0 km Difficulty: Moderate  In 2008, the Wilson family spent the day in Blaira...

Harvesting operations in the forest at Wades Bridge using a cable crane and excavator

Big Douglas

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

While the majority of our timber harvesting is in fairly standard coniferous trees, occasionally something out of the ordinary comes along. Recently, a stand of extremely tall Douglas Fir came to light in an awkward location, leading to a specialist operation to harvest and sell the spectacular timber. Here's the story from our Niche Timber and Hardwood Development Advisor, Douglas (no relation!)....

Close up of conifer needles

10 things you didn't know about conifers

Thursday, 01 October 2020

To celebrate National Conifer Week, we’ve delved into our archives and mined information from our foresters to bring you 10 fun facts about this ubiquitous family of trees.   1: Latin The word ‘conifer’ comes from the Latin ‘conus’ (cone) and ‘ferre’ (to bear), which put together means ‘the one that bears cones’. Virtually all conifers produce cones though the size, s...

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