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The Heathhall land management unit is located on the north-east outskirts of Dumfries, in Dumfries and Galloway. Covering an area of approximately 153 ha the area comprises a mix of planted conifer woodland and native broadleaves. It is part of Scotland’s national forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers on behalf of the people of Scotland and managed by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS). 

The current Land Management Plan (2023 to 2033) identifies management objectives and sets out our operations for the next ten years. The plan has been approved by Scottish Forestry. The successful delivery of this plan will contribute to the objectives of Forestry and Land Scotland’s Corporate Plan, as well as the priorities, objectives and vision of Scotland’s Forestry Strategy. The plan has been developed in accordance with the requirements of the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) and its supporting guidelines. The UKFS is the benchmark for sustainable forestry practice, and the Scottish Government is committed to its use.

Significant Environmental Features in the plan area

Designated sites: there are no designated sites in the plan area. Several WW2 pill boxes are present and will be protected.
Ancient Woodland: significant areas of the wood are recorded as ‘Long- established of Plantation Origin’.

Long Term Vision

“Heathhall Wood is a hidden gem for the communities around Dumfries, offering a peaceful place for recreation and relaxation amongst native woodland rich in wildlife. Visitors arrive using active travel links and are welcomed on to a well-managed network of trails. Less abled visitors are provided for, and everyone is encouraged to explore the wood. Remnants of the Lochar Moss have become wet again, helping to protect carbon stores in the deep peats below, whilst creating a valuable open wet woodland habitat.”

Management Objectives (next ten years)

1. Continue to manage and enhance the woodland for the enjoyment of the local community, especially along the formal trails, providing a welcoming and relaxing environment
2. Work with natural regeneration to expand and establish a predominantly broadleaf native mixed woodland
3. Thin the woodland in appropriate and accessible areas to enhance the internal landscape, create a range of wildlife habitats, and to develop opportunities for hardwood timber products
4. Protect the peatland by removing Sitka Spruce and encouraging the development of wet woodland

Summary of planned operations (next ten years)

Total plan area = 153 ha
Felling = 60 ha
Restocking = 60 ha
Forest roads = no new roads planned

How is the forest likely to change over the next twenty years?

There will be a significant reduction in Sitka Spruce in the east of the forest, with the establishment of open wet woodland after it is felled to protect the deep peats below. Elsewhere, native oak and birch woodland will develop further. Areas of existing mature conifer trees will be retained and allowed to age and die in situ providing wildlife habitat. New planting of Scots pine around the sand quarry will add diversity to the woodland.

What other activity is likely to happen?

The formal trails and furniture will continue to be managed and maintained to a high standard. Orientation information and forest interpretation will be reviewed. Access for all, including provision for the less abled, will be a priority. FLS will be open to working with partners to explore opportunities to enhance the recreation offering.

Maps and documents

The full land management plan for Heathhall (2023 to 2033) and supporting maps are available to download below.

Get in touch

If you would like further information, or have any questions, please contact:


Telephone: 0300 067 6900