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Wildfire Warning: there is a very high risk of wildfire for the whole of Scotland from 30 - 5 June. Please plan ahead and check online before visiting.

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...

a large saw in the forest cutting a tree

From the forest: giving new life to sick trees

Tuesday, 18 October 2022

We shared a story earlier this year about the complicated felling of a diseased ash tree. The nearly 25m tree was removed by our experienced staff due to safety concerns, as the tree was growing close to the public walking path at Wilsontown.  The timber is now starting a journey with a local woodworker to become a piece of fine furniture. Below is a first-hand account from Doug Halliday, o...

FLS staff member with two other people in a forest

From South Australia to Oban: great granddaughter of forestry innovator visits Sutherland’s Grove

Thursday, 06 October 2022

Sutherland’s Grove is one of our forests in Balcardine, near Oban, on Scotland’s west coast and is home to historic trees. But for Lesley Milligan, resident of Adelaide in South Australia, it has a whole other significance. It is named for her great-great-grandfather, Sir John Sutherland.   We were proud to host Lesley and her husband Alan as they made a pilgrimage to Sutherland’s Gr...

Osprey in flight

Osprey Update 29 September

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Tweed Valley Osprey Project Co-ordinator, Di Bennett, brings us the latest update from the nest. This week we have received great news about a young Tweed Valley osprey that fledged from a new nest in the summer. He is the chick of the first known English osprey parents to breed in Scotland (and within the Tweed Valley project area) and has been photographed in Portugal since he migrated. ...

Route map

Glen heads south

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Tweed Valley Osprey Project Co-ordinator, Di Bennett, brings us the latest update from the nest. After watching his brothers depart a couple of weeks previously, Glen started his migration on the afternoon of 9 September. Here's a timeline of his journey thus far: 9 September - Starts flying south and spends the night near a military base in the Brecon Beacons in Wales. 10 September - Con...

Osprey in flight

Tweed Valley Osprey Project - Update 8 September

Thursday, 08 September 2022

Tweed Valley Osprey Project Co-ordinator, Di Bennett, brings us the latest update from the nest. The three tracked juvenile ospreys continue to thrive and we are able to trace their activities from their data. Tweed (706) has stayed in Portugal and is favouring an area of Aveiro Lagoon and wetland which is a vast area of estuary, marshes, ponds and canals in the north west of the region. It l...

a drone planting trees

The technology helping us modernise forestry

Friday, 02 September 2022

Forestry is evolving. We're using more and more modern technology to help us work in tricky and hard-to-reach areas, though we do still fell trees with a chainsaw and plant by hand. From zip-lining massive logs, to using satellites to herd cows and laser beams to map archaeological sites, we are testing and developing new technology every year to help us do our job better and more efficiently.&nb...