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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...

Glenmore - 100 years of public ownership

Thursday, 23 November 2023

In November 1923, only four years after the establishment of the Forestry Commission, Glenmore was purchased from the Duke of Gordon. 2023 marks 100 years of public ownership of this much-loved place. Its transformation during this time can be seen as a miniature history of public forestry. The early years After the First World War, Britain's timber supply was at an all-time low. A steady...

a woman carrying a child in a forest

Walking in the Cairngorms

Monday, 20 November 2023

Glenmore was purchased from the Duke of Gordon in 1923, only four years after our predecessor, the Forestry Commission, was established. Since then, the area has been a hive for recreation, conservation and forestry. Over the past 30 years we’ve been working to expand the native Scots pine forest through native regeneration and deer management. Together with our National Park partners, were now...

A close-up vole sits on a grassy site. There is a mushroom just ahead of it.

Field voles: the Cairngorms' most important mammal?

Thursday, 16 November 2023

Is the humble field vole the Cairngorms' most important mammal? As unassuming as they might seem, field voles play a key part in the food chain and their numbers can have a huge impact on protected species like capercaillie. That's why, twice a year in autumn and spring, ecologists survey voles in the Cairngorms Connect project area. The project area covers over 60,000 hectares of the national pa...

a stone circle in a glen

Dig deeper: a look at Na Clachan Aoraidh, the Stones of Worship

Thursday, 02 November 2023

The stone circle of Na Clachan Aoraidh – the ‘Stones of Worship’ – is set high on the limestone ridge of Cnoc na Craoibhe above Loch Tummel. Grid reference: NN 8386 6200 The site is an unusual ‘four poster’ stone circle – a square arrangement of four large stones on a low stone-built platform. It was probably built in the Late Bronze Age, about 3000 years ago. Writing of Na Clac...

White-tailed eagle nest discovered in Caithness

Thursday, 26 October 2023

A breeding pair of white-tailed eagles has set up home in a Caithness woodland. The birds, thought to be the first successful breeding pair in the area for almost 100 years, were found nesting in a stand of sitka spruce trees within a windblown area of lodgepole pine. It’s believed that the eagles selected the sitka because it offered a stronger platform on which to build their eyrie ...

A lone pine marten stands in long grass

A COP26 for pine martens

Wednesday, 18 October 2023

Last month, pine marten experts from around the world attended the Eighth International Martes Symposium in Aviemore.  With an estimated population of just 3700, pine martens are a protected species in Scotland — and have been since 1988. They weigh 1-2kg and measure 60-70cm from nose to tail, making them roughly the size of a domestic cat. This small predator is extremely agile, an...

Aspen at Glenmore

Friday, 13 October 2023

As one of the partners in Cairngorms Connect, we've been carrying out enrichment planting of native broadleaves across Glenmore Forest Park. Over the summer, alongside Cairngorms National Park Volunteer Rangers and local volunteers, we removed the protective tree tubes from aspen trees that had successfully established and outgrown them. Aspen is one of the most palatable species to deer, so to...

Behind the lens: protect Scotland’s Wildlife on the BBC

Thursday, 28 September 2023

We recently hosted a BBC news crew to several of our forests to film a segment on protecting Scotland’s wildlife. The package – which included interviews with two of our staff members – aired on BBC Breakfast and the 7-minute-long piece was seen by more than 6 million viewers! The purpose of the piece was to raise awareness of the impacts of disturbance to wildlife by people when they’...

Creating habitats to save rare bee

Thursday, 21 September 2023

Our staff in North Region have been working all summer to grow a wide range of wildflowers that should help boost numbers of a rare species of bumblebee and other pollinating insects.   The wildflowers, being tended by staff in polytunnels in Lairg, will be planted this autumn by volunteers from the Caithness Environment Volunteer Group. The group will be planting two meadows at Sibst...

a basket of wild mushrooms

Fungi foragers urged to pick only what they need

Monday, 11 September 2023

People planning to head out to forests this autumn to try their hand at ‘foraging’ – to pick wild mushrooms – are being urged to ‘be sure what you’re picking and pick only what you need’. We're finding – increasingly – that inexperienced fungi foragers are clearing whole areas, damaging fragile ecosystems and potentially harming forest dwelling animals who depend on fungi as a v...