What are Scotland's native woodlands

Native tree species are those which arrived naturally in Scotland without direct human assistance as far as we can tell. Most of our native tree and shrub species colonised Scotland after the last Ice Age (which ended roughly 9,000 years ago), with seeds dispersed by wind, water, and animals.

Scotland's most common native trees and shrubs include Scots pine, birch (downy and silver), alder, oak (pedunculate and sessile), ash, hazel, willow (various species), rowan, aspen, wych elm, hawthorn, holly, juniper, elder and wild cherry. For a full list of species (both native and non-native) surveyed in the NWSS please see page 87 of the national report.

Forestry Commission Scotland has produced a series of educational native woodlands videos, presented by naturalist Nick Baker. The main video, 'Scotland's Native Woodlands', offers an excellent introduction to native woods and why they are special:

There are four additional videos that give more detail on each of the key native woodland habitat types: