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.

The life aquatic

When you visit the forest you know what to expect: trees, spectacular views, woodland wildlife. But how about leaping salmon? Or dolphins? Or even a minke whale? Not what you’d expect from your typical woodland wander. It’s National Marine Week, and there’s no better time to celebrate the flippery creatures that live in our rivers and seas.

dolphin leaping out the water

A he-roe-ic life

First up, salmon. Young salmon live in freshwater rivers and pools until they’re between two and four years old. Then, they leave home and go out into the world (aka the North Atlantic). When they’ve reached adulthood, they then return to spawn, swimming upstream via a seemingly endless number of waterfalls to the exact stretch of river where they hatched.

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10 summer activities for kids that won't break the bank

Summer is here, and that means sun (maybe), vast quantities of ice cream, and a lot of time to keep the kids entertained. We’ve put together some of our favourite things to do with your little ones that’ll get them out the house and exploring Scotland’s forests.

1. Live the wild life

otter in amongst sea weed

Ever wanted to get up close to Scotland’s largest mammal? The Red Deer Range in Galloway Forest Park runs regular events throughout summer to let you see these magnificent animals in real life. If marine life is more up your street, you can see leaping salmon at Rogie Falls, and maybe even porpoise and otters out west at Fishnish!


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Name that bug

It’s fair to say that insects haven’t had the best portrayal over the years – every form of media has been less than flattering. Kafka described the nightmare of waking up as an insect in gory detail, Spielberg spooked us senseless in Arachnophobia, and the 80’s were a bad time for beasties after Jeff Goldblum tried to change the world — but ended up as the grotesque ‘brundlefly’.

insect blog return of fly


But love them or hate them, insects are an essential part of the forest’s ecosystem, and our understanding of them is important for conservation, medicine, ecology and food production.

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Find your way: Out of the Woods

outofthewoods cover


This post is different to other posts. You and you alone are in charge of how the story goes.

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6 stunning forest views to tempt you outdoors, despite the weather

With snowstorms in April, I think we can agree this hasn't been spring at its best. Many of us are back in the wellies and winter woollens, when we should be enjoying the milder outdoors.

The National Forest Estate is one of those places that looks good in all weathers. As a wee reminder, we've got some inspiration for you! Our planning forester Colin Leslie spends a lot of time in the Inverness, Ross and Skye forests. Luckily for us, he's pretty handy with a camera.

Our inboxes are always a little cheerier when one of his photos arrives – but they're too good to keep to ourselves! We've asked him to pick out some of his favourite places and photos to remind us how magical our Scottish forests can be.

As some people say: there's no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothes!

Glenmore Dawn

Glenmore at dawn

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Get to know our summer clubs

Last summer we worked in partnership with a number of community groups throughout Glasgow and Renfrewshire to offer summer clubs at the Commonwealth Woods legacy forests we look after.

The idea behind the summer clubs was to engage local children and their community group leaders in activities in the forest - showing that local woodlands are a great place to do fun, educational, healthy and affordable activities.

forestry summer clubs

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Turn over a new leaf in Galloway Forest Park

The start of a new year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. And what better place to embrace the great outdoors, than Galloway Forest Park? It’s the largest Forest Park in Britain, with over 300 square miles (800 km²) of outstanding natural beauty, and there’s a huge range of activities to keep even the most energetic visitor busy.

BBC Countryfile magazine has shortlisted Dumfries and Galloway for a top destination award. Here’s six things you can check out in the area and if you think it’s one of the top destinations in the UK, then cast your vote (note now closed).

ifte nb 148325

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Forests to discover around Glasgow and Edinburgh


A forest adventure is closer than you think. If you’re one of the over 1 million people that call Edinburgh or Glasgow home, you may be surprised to know there are several forests on the doorstep to your city just waiting to be explored.

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Can you help us protect Scotland’s forests?

tweed valley landscape

A trip to the forest is something everyone can enjoy, whether you’re on two legs, two wheels or four paws. The forest is a place where we can relax, discover and play. The forest is a special place, and we need your help to keep it that way.

Did you know that tree diseases can hitch a lift from forest to forest on mucky boots, paws or tyres? The spreading of diseases and pests between woodlands is becoming a real threat to forests across Scotland and beyond.

Luckily, there are little things we can all do to slow the spread of anything harmful, and help keep our forests healthy and beautiful...

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