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1945 WTC and TC at Lochloy

This year marks 100 years since the passing of the Forestry Act of 1919. The act brought the Forestry Commission into being, and gave it responsibility for woods in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

With only 5% of the UK afforested as the First World War began, the urgent need for timber mobilised a vast new workforce, and gave birth to a whole new era for the forestry industries.

1968 Lady with horse
A forester leads a horse, dragging timber, 1968. Image from Forestry Memories.

After the war, the organisation turned towards the forests of the four nations and looked to explore their potential as natural resources, beloved leisure destinations, and in more recent years, as a shining example of the benefits of ecology, conservation and biodiversity.

To mark the centenary of the Forestry Act of 1919, we have created a new website exploring the past 100 years of forestry in Scotland. A collaboration with key industry partners and the archival website Forestry Memories, the new site tells the incredible story of Scotland's forests from the landmark passing of the Forestry Act of 1919 to the present day through an interactive photographic timeline

Visit forestcentenary.scot

Main image: Forest workers and members of the Women's Timber Corps, 1945

A century of progress

 
1968 Railway sleeper
A worker carries a log bound for use as a railway sleeper, 1968. Image from Forestry Memories.
 
The new site provides a window into the people, the machines, and the intriguing stories behind the key moments that have shaped the past century of Scottish forestry.
 
There are so many stories to tell, from the women who mobilised to join the industry during World War Two—known as the 'Lumberjills'—to the huge technological shifts that occurred in the 1950s, to today's focus on conservation and ecology. Each image in the gallery links to a page on Forestry Memories, where you’ll find even more detail, and fascinating stories from the people in the pictures.
 
We've started a blog on the site to bring you even more behind-the-scenes stories, and collected some amazing videos produced throughout the years on behalf of the Forestry Commission, and the organisations it evolved to become.

Get involved!

1960 Hypsometers

Trainee foresters learn to use a hypsometer at Faskally Forest School, 1960. Image: Forestry Memories

With archive photos, exclusive interviews and much, much more to share, we hope you’ll join us in commemorating a century of Scottish forestry, and looking forward to the next one hundred years!

You can also explore Forestry England's Forests100 project, celebrating the centenary in England with a range of new resources, plans and activities.

If you're currently employed in the industry, or are a former employer, you can even get in touch with us to contribute photos, memories and more. We're waiting to hear from you!

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