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Girl holding a lichen-covered leaf to her eye

Inside the Complex World of Lichen

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Lichen is a hidden gem in our woodlands, often overlooked and underappreciated.  Scotland is home to over 1,500 different species of lichen, which makes up around 87% of all lichen found in Britain. Lichens tend to thrive in our relatively clean air, cool summers, mild winters, and our higher levels of rainfall which occur throughout the year. This is especially true of western Scotland, whi...

Fallen leaves on the ground with bright autumnal colours

Why Do Trees Lose Their Leaves?

Monday, 09 November 2020

The changing of seasons from summer to autumn brings about a startling change in many trees with vivid greens giving way to bright yellows, oranges and reds. Then, the leaves fall leaving bare trunks and skeletal branches. So what is really going on? Why do trees lose their leaves in autumn? Let’s find out.  Disappearing Green  Different natural chemicals within trees produce diffe...

Sea eagle in tree

Managing Woodland For Sea Eagles

Friday, 06 November 2020

White Tail Eagle Facts:  Scientific Name: Haliaeetus albicilla Population in Scotland:  There are now more than 100 territorial pairs in Scotland Population Status: Still a rare species in Scotland Fun Fact:  The oldest recorded individual was more than 32 years old. That’s old for a bird!  White-tailed eagles, or sea eagles, are an endangered species that w...

Female natterer's bat

Bats at Tentsmuir Forest

Wednesday, 04 November 2020

Until recently conifer woodlands were not known to be great places for bats, but Tentsmuir Forest was at the forefront of changing these perceptions. In 1985 the first bat boxes were put up by the Fife Bat Group (now known as the Fife and Kinross Bat Group). Colonies of pipistrelle bats quickly moved into these boxes but, more surprisingly, they noticed the arrival of natterer's bats, a bat norma...

Skeleton sculpture at Borgie Glen

Spooky Stories

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Autumn might be full of colour, but when night falls, the forest can be a scary place. Dark trees, eerie sounds, a cold that steals your breath away. Give yourself a chill this halloween in some of our spookiest forests!   Blairadam  Trail: Blairenbathie Mine Trail Distance: 2 1/2 miles / 4.0 km Difficulty: Moderate  In 2008, the Wilson family spent the day in Bla...

Harvesting operations in the forest at Wades Bridge using a cable crane and excavator

Big Douglas

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

While the majority of our timber harvesting is in fairly standard coniferous trees, occasionally something out of the ordinary comes along. Recently, a stand of extremely tall Douglas Fir came to light in an awkward location, leading to a specialist operation to harvest and sell the spectacular timber. Here's the story from our Niche Timber and Hardwood Development Advisor, Douglas (no relation!)....

Close up of conifer needles

10 things you didn't know about conifers

Thursday, 01 October 2020

To celebrate National Conifer Week, we’ve delved into our archives and mined information from our foresters to bring you 10 fun facts about this ubiquitous family of trees. 1: Latin The word ‘conifer’ comes from the Latin ‘conus’ (cone) and ‘ferre’ (to bear), which put together means ‘the one that bears cones’. Virtually all conifers produce cones though the size, shape, co...

Large smouldering mound producing charcoal in a forest clearing

Slow Burn: Charcoal production in Callander

Friday, 25 September 2020

Back in 2019, Forestry and Land Scotland partnered with the Callander Landscape Partnership to excavate and research multiple sites of charcoal burning found in Leny Woods. This initiative became the Leny Woods Community Archaeology Project and helped discover more about the area, the production of charcoal (a key process in manufacturing metals in the 18th and 19th centuries), and introduced a di...

Wide beach

Year of Coasts & Waters 2020: Seven brilliant beach walks!

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Fancy a stroll along the beach? It’s not just about forests here y’know. Scotland's weather may not always allow for glorious sparkling waters and warm sand underfoot, but that's no reason to put off a trip to the seaside. A blast of fresh air and the chance to spot seals, dolphins or porpoises can be a perfect day out for family members young and old. And as this year is the Scottish Govern...

Illustration of three Mesolithic characters by Alex Leonard © FLS 2020

Mesolithic map makers

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Imagine the world of the wild harvesters, living within the wildwoods of Scotland over six thousand years ago. Our Mesolithic ancestors were at home in their environment, hunting, fishing and gathering enough to survive and prosper. Today, Scotland’s landscapes provide the best setting possible for imagining and connecting with the Mesolithic experience. Whether walking through Highland pinewood...

Female engineer in high visibility protective clothing

Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2020

Monday, 22 June 2020

Tuesday 23 June 2020 marks the seventh International Women in Engineering Day. This campaign aims to raise the profile of those women currently working in engineering and highlight the amazing career opportunities available to women and girls in this exciting industry. We asked some of our own 'women in engineering' to tell us about their work.

Mountains, trees, a loch and low clouds in Glen Affric

World Environment Day 2020

Friday, 05 June 2020

World Environment Day is a great way to flag up all of the important work that people around the world are doing to help our environment. It’s a chance to hear lots of good news about the environment and a great pat on the back for all of the individuals, communities and organisations that are lending a hand to slowly and steadily improve the health of our environment.

An osprey in a nest looks towards another osprey sitting on a tree branch

Countdown begins

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Two adult ospreys were at the nest this morning and there appeared to be a little alarm displayed by one of the birds (possibly Mrs O?). She flew off leaving the other adult sitting on the perch on the left-hand side. One egg was clearly visible but the other two could not be seen. We are hoping that is just because of the camera angle and the eggs are safely obscured by the twigs at the front of ...

A river surrounded by trees and ferns

Biodiversity and you

Friday, 22 May 2020

"Without biodiversity, there is no future for humanity," wrote Professor David Macdonald of Oxford University in The Guardian last year, and he did not exaggerate. New projects focused on the protection and conservation of habitats rich in biodiversity are being set up worldwide. So what exactly does the term mean, and what can we all do to help? We asked Forestry and Land Scotland’s Wildlife E...