Scotland's woodlands and the historic environment

Throughout Scotland’s history, woodlands and forests have been vitally important to the development and sustenance of settlements, industries and communities.

Over 25,000 archaeological features lie in or around Scotland's woodlands. There is an abundance of colourful, incredible and tragic stories to tell - from as far back as the last ice age right up to the 20th Century.

Many of these stories still have something to say to a modern audience - about how important it is to manage our natural resources sustainably, and the importance of diversification.

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Scotland’s woodlands and the historic environment (PDF 5.2Mb)

This document outlines how the forestry sector can tap into this rich cultural heritage and help develop historic sites - including designed landscapes and ancient woodlands.

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Archaeological measured survey on Scotland's National Forest Estate (PDF 9.4Mb)

This fully illustrated archaeological booklet presents the results of recent archaeological measured survey work across Scotland’s National Forest Estate. The publication aims to showcase the range of work that we commission – and to highlight the benefits of such surveys in supporting sustainable conservation management. The sites range from Neolithic stone circles to the coastal defences of WWII - and the surveys include some pioneering developments.


Identifying the historic environment in Scotland's woodlands and forests (PDF 5MB)

This practice guide aims to help forestry and woodland managers when considering the archaeology and historic environment in their stewardship. It provides an accessible introduction to exploring 'archaeology in the field', illustrating and describing many of the more common archaeological features.


Historic environment information & advice for forest and woodland managers in Scotland (PDF 470KB)

A guide to the resources available to forest and woodland managers relating to the historic environment of Scotland. It has been designed as a routemap to the most pertinent available information and advice.


Managing the historic environment case studies - helping managers deliver best practice (PDF 6.2MB)

These case studies highlight examples of best practice conservation management over a wide range of archaeological sites and historic landscapes and showcase the potential that the historic environment can play within Forest Plans.


Conserving and managing trees and woodlands in Scotland's designed landscapes (PDF 5.72MB)

This fully illustrated practice guide provides essential information on the effective stewardship of trees and woodlands in a designed landscape.

Starting with a succinct review of the historic periods of design styles, the guidance section provides practical information on how all the tree elements can be conserved and managed.

The document is available to download free via the link above, whilst a paper copy is available for purchase from any FCS office for £5.00.


Cultural heritage information resources (PDF 1.6MB)

This document provides details of relevant resources (online and published) for presenting Scotland’s cultural heritage, and for finding out about the archaeology and background history of your cultural heritage sites. It also gives practical guidance and inspiring suggestions in relation to historical and archaeological-themed public outreach activities. The final section describes creative case studies.