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We are working hard to make our forests safe again after recent storms. Many remain closed; please plan ahead and follow all local signage.

Close-up of a marsh fritillary butterfly on a pink flower

Name that bug

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

It’s fair to say that insects haven’t had the best portrayal over the years – every form of media has been less than flattering. Kafka described the nightmare of waking up as an insect in gory detail, Spielberg spooked us senseless in Arachnophobia, and the 80’s were a bad time for beasties after Jeff Goldblum tried to change the world — but ended up as the grotesque ‘brundlefly’. ...

Recreation Ranger, Ruari Watt, standing in front of Ben Nevis

A day in the life of a Recreation Ranger

Monday, 16 May 2016

Ruari Watt is a Recreation Ranger in Lochaber. Ruari is passionate about the outdoors and loves to help others get the best experience out of a forest visit. Here he tells us about his work to restore pinewoods, training volunteers in conservation work and mountain tourism, and the best place to visit in the area. Tell me about being a Recreation Ranger. What’s your working day like? My role...

Three children follow a sign that says 'Wildlife Hide'

Improving access to Scotland’s forests

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The National Forest Estate is a magical place to visit, boasting everything from rare species of animals, to stunning views and exciting activities to take part in. One of our aims is for all visitors, whatever their age or ability, to experience and enjoy the benefits offered by woodlands, so we embarked on a project to review how accessible our trails and visitor sites were.

View of snow covered lochs and trees at Uath Lochans

6 stunning forest views to tempt you outdoors, despite the weather

Tuesday, 03 May 2016

With snowstorms in April, I think we can agree this hasn't been spring at its best. Many of us are back in the wellies and winter woollens, when we should be enjoying the milder outdoors. The National Forest Estate is one of those places that looks good in all weathers. As a wee reminder, we've got some inspiration for you! Our planning forester Colin Leslie spends a...

Forest harvester, Allan Dickie

The life of a harvester

Monday, 25 April 2016

Few jobs are more dangerous than forestry – but it’s more than trees and saws that put workers on edge.  The children’s Easter club are here to see machines. They’ve come to watch forestry in action. Allan works the harvester while his son Ross steers the forwarder. Our recreation forester Katie hopes the demonstration will help the kids 'get' it. They pass round a sheet of b...

Three timber stacks alongside a forest track

The National Forest Estate is helping to boost Scotland's economy

Monday, 14 March 2016

The National Forest Estate is a valuable national asset, providing recreation opportunities, supporting landscape scale restoration projects, wildlife conservation efforts, renewables development and community initiatives whilst producing millions of tonnes of timber a year. A new report published today reveals that the National Forest Estate is generating £395 million Gross Value Added every ye...

Modern apprentice, Greg Ferrier, using a chainsaw to cut up a fallen tree

Two modern apprentices shortlisted for prestigious award

Wednesday, 02 March 2016

Two Forest Enterprise Scotland (now Forestry and Land Scotland) employees on the Modern Apprenticeship scheme have been shortlisted for Lantra Scotland’s Learner of the Year Awards 2016. Greg Ferrier, 25 from Aberfoyle, is working as an Apprentice Forest Craftsperson. He first developed an interest in the land-based industries while working with a local contractor in the Loch Lomond and ...

Forwarder picking up logs from a timber stack

Breathing new life into Callendar Wood

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Scottish Lowlands Forest District are working hard at Callendar Wood, Falkirk, to restore the original character of the woodland and introduce more native broadleaves into the forest. 

Trees lit up with coloured lights at Pitlochry's Enchanted Forest visitor attraction

Celebrating the hidden success story of Scottish forestry

Thursday, 04 February 2016

Scottish forestry and its contribution to the economy was celebrated at a reception for MSP’s in the Scottish Parliament last week (27 Jan). It came on the back of a report (Nov 2015) that revealed the hidden success story that is Scotland’s forestry sector, which contributed nearly £1 billion to the economy through forest management, timber processing and recreation.

View of a loch and forests in Galloway

Turn over a new leaf in Galloway Forest Park

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The start of a new year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. And what better place to embrace the great outdoors, than Galloway Forest Park? It’s the largest Forest Park in Britain, with over 300 square miles (800 km²) of outstanding natural beauty, and there’s a huge range of activities to keep even the most energetic visitor busy.

Ironwork sign that says 'Wilsontown - An iron community'

New survey techniques helped piece together the historic environment at Wilsontown Ironworks

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Innovative new survey techniques helped piece together the historic environment at the 18th century ironworks of Wilsontown in Lanarkshire – one of the best presented and most accessible industrial archaeological landscapes in Scotland. Many items were made at Wilsontown, including this cannonball.  They produced several cast iron items, including 'shot', and at one time Wilsonto...

Environment Manager, Neil McInnes, standing next to a loch

A day in the life of an Environment Manager

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Neil McInnes is Environment Manager for North Highland Forest District, based in Golspie. This is a role that has it all – from ospreys and wildcats to bog restoration and cattle grazing projects. Neil will take you on a journey through some of his career highlights and favourite places – find out where the first tree planting in Scotland for the Forestry Commission to...

Close-up of osprey staring at camera

Loch Lomond: a year in the wild

Friday, 27 November 2015

‘Loch Lomond: a year in the wild’ is a new nature documentary produced by Tigress and Group M Entertainment that was filmed in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The filming took place over a year – often in secret locations – and was shown on Channel 5 as a series of four films, following wildlife throughout the seasons. It is a story of birth and death, predators and prey, ...

View of Loch Katrine from a hill top

Accolade for the Great Trossachs Forest

Monday, 26 October 2015

We are excited that the Great Trossachs Forest – in the heart of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs - has received the National Nature Reserve accolade. It is also the largest NNR in the UK at over 16,000 hectares – an area almost as big as Glasgow, or 22,000 football pitches! The National Nature Reserve accolade is awarded to sites that are managed both for the conservation of important species o...

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