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This plan reviews Forestry and Land Scotland’s management of Larbert woods, located beside the Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Sitting within a former designed landscape, this is a significant site for recreation, health and wellbeing with areas of woodland dating back to the 1800s.

The site suffered from a lack of management for a number of years until 2010 but has benefited from significant improvements over the last decade. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) took ownership of the site in 2019 and, having been a significant delivery partner during the previous decade, our intention is to maintain and build on these successes into the future.

Management activities

In order to ensure the site is maintained as an attractive setting for recreation and continues to support biodiversity, FLS propose to continue low-impact management practices which support these aims. Our proposed management is explained more fully in the Land Management Plan text and maps below, but in summary the main activities include:

Thinning and felling

Selective thinning will be undertaken to maintain the long-term health and longevity of the woodlands. Some trees may also be removed for safety purposes or to maintain or enhance amenity and landscape value in key areas. Over the long-term, these activities will encourage greater diversity within the woodland, improving resilience and facilitating the continued use of low-impact management practices. 

Grassland management

Our management review has identified that large areas of the parkland are currently being managed through regular grass cutting. Recognising the potential to improve biodiversity value, we hope to reduce the frequency of cutting in key areas with the aim of developing improved habitats. Regular grass cutting will still be undertaken in key areas, such as along paths, to maintain recreational use. 

Rhododendron control

Rhododendron ponticum is an invasive non-native species which negatively affects biodiversity and can easily invade and eventually dominate semi-natural woodlands such as those at Larbert. Significant Rhododendron control was carried out in previous decades and follow-up action is now required to ensure the species does not come to dominate the site again in future years.


  • Winter/Spring 2022: internal scoping and baseline surveys
  • Spring/Summer 2022: survey, analysis and draft Land Management Plan (LMP) proposals
  • Late Summer 2022: internal review of LMP proposals
  • Autumn 2022: external public consultation and Scottish Forestry review of draft LMP proposals
  • Autumn/Winter 2022: update LMP following comments from Scottish Forestry and public consultation; submit final LMP to Scottish Forestry for approval.
  • Winter 2023: LMP approved by Scottish Forestry 

Maps and documents

Get in touch

Planning Team

Forestry and Land Scotland
Five Sisters House
Five Sisters Business Park
West Calder
EH55 8PN


Phone: 0300 067 6700 (option 1 – West Calder)