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The 'Last Ent of Affric' is no longer alone

Thursday, 18 April 2024

An ancient elm tree that has stood alone in Glen Affric for hundreds of years is now the guardian over a new generation of its species. Known as the Last Ent of Affric in homage to the tree-shepherds from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the tree has been chosen to help in the fight against Dutch elm disease. Thirty-five young elm trees have been transferred from the Royal Botanic Garden Edin...

How we can help solitary bees

Thursday, 11 April 2024

Around 270 species of bees are found in the UK, with nearly 90% solitary species. Some that can be seen in Scotland include the red mason bee, common carder bee and the chocolate mining bee that burrows in soil. So why are these bees important and what can we do to help them?  Chocolate mining bee (Andrena scotica) With the signs of spring showing, many solitary bees have already bee...

A82 felling reaches toughest challenge yet

Thursday, 04 April 2024

We're reaching the steepest part of the A82 next week.  This is part of our steep ground felling programme on the hillside overlooking Loch Ness. The next phase of work, which will run from April until the end of June, will see large Douglas firs removed from a slope with a gradient of almost 90 per cent in places. Making it the most challenging phase of the project to date. Our Planning ...

Silhouette of two people flying a drone

How lasers, drones and real-time tracking are improving forestry

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Forestry is adapting — and it needs to! We face challenges ranging from extreme weather events and physically difficult operating conditions to invasive species and disease.    That’s why we’re always on the lookout for creative solutions to help us work better, like using lasers to map the land or drones to stabilise steep slopes.  Let’s take a look at a few of the e...

Steep-ground trees used in log cabin build

Wednesday, 13 March 2024

We recently provided logs the length of a double decker bus to a specialist carpenter for a full-scale log house.  The house is being constructed by Bedrock Buildings Ltd. and will be moved to a plot of land in Tomich where it will be rebuilt in early summer.   The finished structure will use a total of 52 massive, 100-year-old Douglas fir logs.  The logs were harvested by high...

A red harvester cutting pine trees

Dig deeper: revealing the ruins of Brunell Township

Thursday, 15 February 2024

The low stone walls and earthen banks of a post-medieval township were recently discovered in Glen Brittle Forest on the Isle of Skye during an environmental check ahead of harvesting. Likely dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, the township comprises a range of houses, byres, barns and corn-drying kilns. The buildings were located within a mature conifer plantation of predominantly Sitka spr...

Two children sit together, facing away in a lush forest.

Forest Therapy with CAMHS

Monday, 05 February 2024

5 to 11 February marks Children's Mental Health Week, an opportunity to start conversations and raise awareness. To mark this important week, we're taking a look at some of the work being done by our community rangers to support young people's mental health. Spending time outdoors can boost your mood, lower stress levels and improve overall mental (and physical) health. That’s why our community...

a blue tractor in a field

New technology coming to Newton Nursery

Thursday, 01 February 2024

Our nursery at Newton is a hub for innovation. We’re currently redesigning the nursery to modernise the infrastructure and ensure we can produce trees for our long-term planting goals. To make sure we’re working as efficiently as possible, our teams at Newton trial new methods and technologies every year. Some of this technology is based on existing agricultural machinery and is being adapted...

drone shot of a Carin in the forest in autumn

Dig deeper: the Bare Bones of Bargrennan Cairns

Monday, 22 January 2024

To celebrate our archaeological learning resource The Bare Bones being nominated in the Current Archaeology Awards 2024 ‘Research Project of the Year’ category, we thought that we would shine a light on another intriguing type of Neolithic chambered cairn – the Bargrennan cairn. Several of these cairns can be found on Scotland’s national forests and land, including the White Cairn in Gall...

a group of deer in a field

Wildlife management innovation challenge reaches next stage

Thursday, 18 January 2024

Our CivTech challenge to improve wildlife management has reached the next stage.  Earlier this year we asked for help to solve two problems we face with deer management. Unfortunately, we didn't get enough interest in one of the challenges but we are excited to move forward with challenge 9.3. This looks at how we can help wildlife rangers identify the exact location of every animal larger t...

Close up of a sparkly blue Christmas bauble hanging from a Christmas tree. There are colourful lights in the background.

4 ways to reuse your tree this holiday season

Tuesday, 26 December 2023

Choosing a real tree for the holidays can be a great, sustainable option. But did you know that how you dispose of your tree afterwards can make a big difference to its carbon footprint? If you’ve got a pot-grown tree and the space to do so, you could try planting it out in the garden or repotting it into a bigger container and leaving it outside until next year. If your tree has been cut,...

Allan MacDougall - 48 years of dedicated service

Thursday, 21 December 2023

Allan MacDougall has been awarded the Imperial Service Medal for 48 years of dedicated service. Allan was awarded the medal at Glenmore Forest Park after retiring last year. Working in Glenmore since the 1980s, he has welcomed thousands of visitors, sharing his incredible knowledge of the place. Allan was brought up in Strathmashie and joined the Forestry Commission on 15 July 1974, when h...

Giant glasshouse to grow trees for future forests

Wednesday, 13 December 2023

A new glasshouse will soon be added to our nursery near Elgin. The building will be around the size of two football pitches and capable of growing up to 19 million trees a year. This exciting addition is part of a major modernisation project that hopes to start in 2024. The project will increase our self-sufficiency and see our nursery provide more trees to support Scotland’s ambitious tree p...

lichen on a rock

Dig deeper: brochs and biodiversity

Thursday, 07 December 2023

The broch of Caisteal Grugaig is a unique structural ecological niche situated in an area of amazing Atlantic Rainforest. Could one of the finest brochs in Scotland be a home to biodiversity, just as it was once home to an Iron Age family? The broch of Caisteal Grugaig sits in the Atlantic Rainforest zone, which runs along the west coast of Scotland, and is surrounded by a rainforest habitat ric...