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A car on a forest road

Take a forest drive

Monday, 29 May 2023

Our Forest Drives are once again open for vehicle access. These facilities are a great way to get into the forest and see some stunning sights from across the country.   Though these drives are once again open to cars, they have remained open all winter for walkers and other forest users. Please drive carefully and share the road.   Visit the individual forest pages to learn more about...

Trees cut up for fire wood

Activities that harm

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Summer is a great time to get out and explore Scotland’s best natural spaces. We recently conducted a survey* asking Scottish people if they participated in outdoor activities. These ranged from dog walking, hill walking and water sports to mountain biking, wild camping, wildlife photography and angling. 88% of those surveyed said they used the national forests and land for these activities.&n...

A new mountain bike trail being built under blue sky

Glentress Trail Naming Competition

Thursday, 18 May 2023

Work on the Glentress Masterplan has been well underway for several months now and we're starting to see some real progress. 16km of new trails are being added to the network to suit every level of rider. In advance of opening the new trails, we need to give them a name, which is where you come in. Jumps on the Black taster trail beginning to take shape  We want your help to pick a trail ...

a moth on a fence post

Fence post fluff

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

If you go out to the more open areas of Scotland’s national forests and land, especially places with deep heather and old fence lines, you may see someone looking somewhat intently at the fence posts. They are likely checking each post for resting moths or other invertebrate species, such as small dark yellow underwing found on a post on Loch Shaw last year. Despite their unnatural purpose, fen...

a group of people standing on a peat bog

Our peatland team visit Irish blanket bog restoration sites

Tuesday, 09 May 2023

In March, our peatland team visited sites managed by Coillte Nature, a not-for-profit branch of the Irish semi-state forestry company - Coillte, for a knowledge-sharing visit about restoration. Ian McKee, our Peatland Technical Advisor, and Tim Cockerill, a Peatland Restoration Forester based in North Highland, have been involved with the restoration of thousands of hectares of bog across Scotlan...

a group of people talking outside

Lichen, moss or grass: rainforest adventures with Plantlife

Tuesday, 02 May 2023

Guest blog by our native woodland ecologist, Richard Thompson, on a recent training tour of Scotland’s rainforest. Thirteen of our staff gathered around Plantlife’s Lichen and Bryophyte Advisor, Oliver Moore, to learn about the lichens, mosses and liverworts that make Scotland’s rainforests such special places. We were in the heart of rainforest country, at the head of Loch Sunart in Ard...

A man walking down the beach with his dog

Some of our favourite spring walks

Tuesday, 25 April 2023

  Spring is a great time to get out and enjoy new flowers and budding trees while you walk along our forest trails. So, pack your gear and a snack and get out into the trees. Ardentinny Cowal's longest sandy beach. Spring is a great time to head to the beach. Why not bring a picnic and explore Ardentinny’s network of woodland trails? The beach was used by the Royal Navy as a training...

A man in safety gear picking cones in a tree

Annual Scots pine collection

Friday, 14 April 2023

  Scots pine is our national tree and was once used to make ship masts. Its timber is strong and easy to work with making it a popular building product even today. It’s also a key pioneer species in our iconic Caledonian pine woods. Our nursery in Newton grows almost 2 million Scots pine a year. A portion of these saplings are used for native woodland restoration, while the rest is plante...

Construction equipment building a road

Engineering students urged to consider a forestry career

Thursday, 06 April 2023

Civil engineering students across Scotland are being urged to consider a career working in forests instead of urban environments. We are seeing a growing need for civil engineers and have vacancies for engineers to work in locations around Scotland. Last month we visited the University of Strathclyde to talk to engineering students and to give them an insight into a day on the job with our tea...

Person working in forest

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2023

Monday, 06 March 2023

Every year we take on around 25 apprentices throughout our organisation, and all across Scotland. From Trees and Timber to Mechanical Engineering, and Procurement to Data Science, we're proud to offer apprenticeships across a wide variety of disciplines. For Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2023, we asked several of our apprentices about why they joined Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), and their expe...

A field with a loch and trees

Spending a day along the Queen’s Way in Galloway

Monday, 13 February 2023

Galloway is a great place to explore, with animal experiences to stunning walks and lochs.  The Queen’s Way is a 17-mile scenic road that runs between New Galloway and Newton Stewart. Though the drive is lovely on its own, there are also plenty of stops to enjoy along the way. We put together a list of our favourite things to do in the forest park that should keep you busy for the whole da...

A tablet in a harvesting site with a map

Off-the-shelf GPS could improve UK timber quality

Tuesday, 07 February 2023

We are currently trialing an off-the-shelf GPS to find out whether it can help further increase timber quality by improving a key stage of tree planting. The excavator-mounted GPS device will be assessed during ground preparation work across forests in Dumfries and Galloway. Our team hopes this new system will help deliver consistent mounding spacing, ensuring a uniform establishment and u...

A dark understory under a rhododendron plant

Rhododendron ponticum: the silent killer of Scotland's rainforest

Wednesday, 01 February 2023

Scotland is home to a range of rare temperate rainforests. These are woodlands native to the west of Scotland which are made up of birch, hazel, ash, oak and pine trees. They're rich in biodiversity and capture vast amounts of carbon.   Yet they're under threat. In the late eighteenth century Rhododendron ponticum (referred to simply as rhododendron in the rest of this blog) was intro...

A male capercaillie sitting on a mud mound

Using remote cameras to boost capercaillie conservation efforts in the Highlands

Monday, 23 January 2023

Almost a hundred cameras were set up across the 60,000 hectares of land that makes up the Cairngorms Connect project area. The equipment captured over 3,000 images and videos of capercaillie, from April to October of 2022, giving us a more accurate assessment of their distribution and breeding success in the Highlands. Cairngorms Connect is a partnership working to enhance habitats, species and...