Scottish forests and woodlands

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  • Looking across the Caledonian pine trees at Coire Loch in Glen Affric, Highlands © FC Library
    Caledonian pine trees at Coire Loch in Glen Affric, Highlands © FC Library
  • Loch Trool, near Newton Stewart, in the Galloway Forest Park
    Loch Trool, near Newton Stewart, in the Galloway Forest Park
  • Looking through trees to Victoria Falls in the Slattadale Forest near Loch Maree, Highlands
    Victoria Falls in the Slattadale Forest near Loch Maree, Highlands
  • The wildlife hide at Sunart Oakwoods on the shore of Loch Sunart, Highlands © FC Library
    The wildlife hide at Sunart Oakwoods on the shore of Loch Sunart, Highlands © FC Library

Scotland is home to several stunning oak woodlands. Often referred to as ‘Celtic rainforests’, these dense oak forests are home to abundant flora and are carpeted in soft layers of mosses, liverworts and lichens.

The oak tree has deep roots in Scottish natural history and is believed to have grown in Scotland for thousands of years. Oak trees tend to live up to 500 years but there are some Scottish oak trees thought to be even older.

You will find oak woods in Taynish National Nature Reserve, Sunart Oakwoods in Argyll and the Wood of Cree in Dumfries & Galloway.

There is a reason why Perthshire is known as ‘Big Tree Country’ as you will find some of the most remarkable trees here, from the world's highest hedge and Europe's oldest tree to the widest conifer in Britain and the sole survivor from Shakespeare's Birnam Wood. There are some stunning woodland trails near Killiekrankie and Dunkeld.

Thousands of years ago, vast swathes of the Scottish Highlands were covered in ancient pinewood forest known as the Caledonian Forest. Today only one percent of the original ancient forest remains in pockets across the region. These forest segments are made up of Scots pine, birch, aspen, rowan, oak and juniper and provide a rich ecosystem that supports a variety of rare and wonderful flora and fauna.

You can get a glimpse of what the Highlands looked like thousands of years ago by visiting the remains of this ancient forest at Mar Lodge, Loch Garten and Rothiemurchus in the Cairngorms or National Nature Reserves such as Glen Affric and Loch Maree in the western Highlands.

You will find other wonderful woodlands in Glenmore Forest Park in the heart of the Cairngorms, Yair Forest in the Scottish Borders, Galloway Forest Park in Dumfries & Galloway and Knapdale Forest in Argyll.

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  1. Allean Forest

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Blair Atholl

    The Allean Forest forms part of the Tay Forest Park, seven miles west of Pitlochry and close to the Queen’s View Visitor Centre.

  2. Glen Doll

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Kirriemuir

    The Angus Glens are part of Cairngorms National Park and offer a range of trails to explore and wildlife to discover.

  3. Glenmore Forest Park

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Aviemore and the Cairngorms

    Located at the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains, this magnificent forest park is well-known for its Caledonian pinewoods.

  4. Caledonian Forest

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Tyndrum

    Explore the surviving remnants of this once great forest that covered vast areas of Scotland.

  5. Caberston Forest

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Innerleithen

    Caberston Forest is located next to the Leithen Water to the north of Innverleithen..

  6. Knapdale

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Lochgilphead

    Knapdale Forest is surrounded by a National Scenic Area and is partially bordered by the Crinan Canal and the Sound of Jura and Loch Sween.

  7. Mabie Forest

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Dumfries

    Enjoy the walking trails, some of the excellent 7stanes mountain biking trails and butterfly reserve in this popular forest.

  8. Tentsmuir

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Leuchars

    A beachside pine forest, with miles of trails and lots of wartime heritage and wildlife to explore.

  9. Glen Sherup And Glen Quay

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Auchterarder

    Glen Sherup and Glen Quey are two woodland glens situated in the Ochil Hills, the range of hills which runs between Perth and Stirling.

  10. The Birnam Oak

    Type

    Forests & Woodlands

    Gradings

    Dunkeld

    The Birnam Oak is an iconic tree on the outskirts of the Perthshire village and celebrated in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

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