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.

Evergreen Season - Christmas Trees For Sale



This week marks the start of Forestry Commission Scotland’s annual Christmas Tree sale at forests and visitor centres across Scotland, beginning this week with the grand opening of Tyrebagger Christmas Tree Sales Centre (pictured - another happy customer with her tree). Our staff are on hand to help you pick the right tree for your festive season - there’s nothing like the look, feel and scent of a genuine tree to bring on the Christmas spirit!

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Introducing the Forest Family Bags

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Having a healthy relationship with the outdoors is an absolutely vital part of a child’s life. Outdoor play promotes good health, natural curiosity and environmental awareness, while providing an exciting alternative to more sedentary activities. In a world increasingly saturated with passive entertainment media and electronic distractions, the Forestry Commission want to help kids get back to nature - and families are the focus of our new project, the Forest Family Bag.

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National Tree Week: Prayer of the Woods

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Photo: Prayer of The Woods by Charles Dawley (Creative Commons)

Walking through the forests and national parks of North America, at some point you are bound to come across a version of the ‘Prayer of the Woods’. Usually carved on a plaque at the entrance to a forest trail, the ‘prayer’ takes the form of a short poem presented as an anonymous work. While its most common title is ‘Prayer of the Woods’ it does not have a religious origin. It is translated from an older work, originally written in Portuguese, and first carved in wood in the gardens surrounding the beautiful Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon.

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National Tree Week: Introducing The Tree Charter

Learn more about the Tree Charter

The Tree Council’s nation-wide celebration of National Tree Week (25 Nov- 3 Dec) is fast approaching. At the start of November, the Council and dozens of partner organisations and charities got together to create The Tree Charter, or to give it its full title, The Charter for Woods, Trees and People. A mini-manifesto of sorts, the Charter is intended to help communities, individuals and trees to stand together. It looks at the common aims of our forests and the people who live around them, encouraging and supporting the growth of volunteer organisations involved in tree planting, wildlife conservation, and green activities. The charter celebrates the 800th anniversary of a very important moment in history for Britain’s forests.

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5 great nature poems for National Poetry Day

We have a rich heritage of capturing the landscape in verse. From antiquity to the present, it’s been the sparking flint to a poet’s imagination. It fuels the pens that capture our fascination and communion with natural world. Whether you're stuck inside, or want inspiration for your next trip, cinematic nature poetry can bring the outside to you.

Read on to discover our favourite stanzas and try writing your own nature-inspired haiku.

1. Elizabeth Bishop – The Moose

elizabeth poem

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10 things to do this autumn

There’s no denying that autumn in Scotland is glorious. There's a nip in the air, the return of pumpkin spice, and the leaves start their spectacular show.

To help you make the most of this special season, we've put together a list of some of our favourite budget-friendly things to do. Find out why we think autumn in the forest is so magical.

1. Colour chemistry explained

Scotland has some of the best autumn colours in the world. Leaves change from verdant green to dazzling golds and fiery reds. But have you ever wondered why this happens?

Leaf science isn’t as confusing as all the long words and technical terms make it sound. It all comes down to the fact that different chemical pigments in leaves determine the colours we see. Find out more in our colour chemistry blog before you head out to find them.

autumn colours red

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John Muir: the Scots pioneer of the modern conservation movement

John Muir was more than an explorer; the Scottish-American was a writer, inventor, botanist, shepherd, geologist and mountaineer, and more. He inspired the creation of national parks, had walking trails named in his honour, has been featured on two US commemorative postage stamps and is celebrated each year on 21 April.

Credited for spearheading the conservation movement, Muir inspires people across the globe to explore the wilderness. We take a brief trip through his life, from childhood in Scotland's east coast to friendship with a US President.

john muir sitting by mirror lake, yosemite

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Climb every mountain

There’s plenty to see outdoors, especially in a country as glorious as Scotland. Summer is the perfect time to take on a challenge with the longer days and (mostly) good weather.

Why not explore the lay of the land and burn some calories summiting some of Scotland’s best hills and mountains? From short steep hikes to longer winding roads, there’s plenty to choose from no matter where you live.

clouds over north face at ben nevis

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Postcards from a travelling archaeologist: Crichton Church

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 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.

Last time Matt was exploring the WWII archaeology of Lossie Forest in Moray – and a new postcard has just arrived!

crichton church postcard

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