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Staff members standing by a car with a map, while observing the habitat.

Scotland's forests have been used and managed for thousands of years. While there are no truly natural woodlands left, we have others like semi-natural woodland, and forests where trees are grown for a specific purpose, like timber. 

Exploring these forests provides clues to the past. We can find archaeological remains of the people who lived in and used these forests centuries ago. 

Woodland use 

Wood has many uses. It has always been an important material for building. Farming tenants depended on this material to build their homes. 

During the 18th century, wood was a vital fuel for new industries in Scotland. At the same time, many landowners began to plant forests. Some also created woodlands as environments to enjoy for recreation. 

During the World Wars, Scotland’s wood was used for the war effort. After World War I, the Forestry Commission was created to grow wood for the nation. The aim was to ensure that Britain always had a supply of timber. 

Scotland's forests today 

Today we continue to grow trees for timber. Woodlands are also managed to benefit an amazing variety of wildlife, and to provide places for the public to visit and enjoy.