Tales from the forest

Inspiration, stories and an insider's glimpse into the world of Scotland's forests

Tales from the forest

Welcome to the Forestry Commission Scotland blog. Here you'll find inspiration, stories and an insider's glimpse into the world of Scotland's forests.

Fantastic forests by ferry

There’s nothing better than escaping the hustle and bustle of the city and getting out into the wild. We usually head to the forest by car, public transport or foot; but how often do you head out to sea on your way to the woods? There are hidden gems and well-travelled trails all across Scotland’s islands, just a boat-ride away.

visitscotland paultomkins ferry
(c) VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

Read more ...

Postcards from a travelling archaeologist

To celebrate the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, we asked our archaeologist ‘Travelling’ Matt to send us postcards from his fieldwork around the country.

Over the course of the year, Matt has promised to send us a postcard from some of the amazing places he finds himself in, describing the archaeology and talking to the Forestry Rangers who care for it.

travelling matt clune wood

Read more ...

Wildflowers in the forest

After the long, dark winter months, the first blooms of spring are a welcome sight. As forest floors and meadows burst into life, there’s plenty of colours and foraging opportunities to enjoy as we head towards Easter.

wildflowers crocuses

From snowdrops and bluebells to tasty ingredients such as wild garlic and chickweed there’s plenty to discover, so read on to find out what to spot in the forest this spring!

Read more ...

Sticks at the flicks: trees of the silver screen

These past few weeks we’ve seen awards ceremony after awards ceremony. From music to television to films, February has celebrated the best in arts and culture, so we think it’s the perfect time to turn the spotlight to forests of the silver screen.

Trees have played a range of roles in cinema – from stunning landscape backdrops, to central characters, through to locations for key scenes, like the bamboo forest fight scenes in House of Flying Daggers. Recently, a solitary yew tree took centre stage as the eponymous monster in A Monster Calls, with heavy references to both its wisdom and healing capabilities.  

bamboo forest from house of flying daggers

We’ve seen trees appear in a variety of visual forms, from protector to educator through to a doorway to the unknown. Read on as we take a look over the many roles of forests on the big screen.

Read more ...

Love the outdoors this Valentine's Day

It’s that time of the year again – heart shaped items bombard you from every angle as does the stress of buying the perfect gift. This year, why not get away from the hustle and bustle by heading into the forest to spend some time with your favourite person, surrounded by nature.

Romance and forests go hand in hand, with legends and myths of star-crossed lovers fleeing to the woods to escape those wishing to part them going back to the start of time. We’ve grown up with stories of forests as safe havens and trees symbolising everlasting love.

coupls standing on bridge in forest

Read more ...

10 all-weather winter destinations

The outdoors is the perfect place to get away from everyday life and just lose yourself in nature. But what do you do on those changeable Scottish winter days, when we can experience up to four seasons in one day?

We’ve put together some of our favourite destinations that are perfect for a visit, no matter the weather. From cafes to warm yourself with a hot chocolate to wildlife hides where you can go deer spotting, there’s something for all ages and interests.

1. Barnluasgan, West Argyll

Two women in wildlife viewing hide

Barnluasgan is the ideal place to start your discovery of Knapdale’s many highlights. In drier weather enjoy the views from under the sheltered tree canopy around Loch Coille Bharr and pass by the old deserted township at Kilmory Oib.

Read more ...

10 winter walks for the whole family

Christmas: a time for eating too many mince pies and arguing over a game of Monopoly. We eat cheeseboards by the dozen and try not to fall asleep before the annual screening of The Snowman.

By Boxing Day, cabin fever sets in and it’s time to get out and burn off those roast potatoes! We asked staff from around the country to tell us their favourite short walks, perfect for the whole family to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

1. Sutherland's Grove, West Argyll

icicles on tree branch

Read more ...

A brief history of Christmas trees

Picking out and decorating your very own tree is one of the highlights of the festive season. Deciding the colour of tinsel to wrap around the tree and whether to top it with a star or a fairy can cause hours of family fun and even feuds.

The tradition of having a decorated tree in your home hasn’t always been around. While evergreen fir trees have been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years, the Christmas tree in its current guise has only been popular in the UK since the nineteenth century.

close up of decorated christmas tree

Read on to find out the history of the Christmas tree, from warding off winter spirits to royal recommendations.

Read more ...

Best in show

We love trees here at Forestry Commission Scotland. We know you guys love trees too. So to celebrate National Tree Week we’ve put together a list of some of the most impressive trees out there.

While several species can be found on Scottish shores, you may have to venture further to see others. And some you may want to avoid altogether.

Best for instagramming - rainbow eucalyptus

rainbox eucalyptus tree

Latin name: Eucalyptus deglupta

Trees showcase some of the most impressive colours in nature. But when we talk about colourful trees, it’s usually the leaves we’re referring to. Behold the stunning rainbow eucalyptus, whose bark is a mix of vibrant colours.

Read more ...