New Reserve hailed as “jewel in the crown” by Minister

Minister and partner representatives

Environment Minister, Dr Aileen McLeod (centre) with (left to right), Gordon Donaldson (FES), Sue Morris (Project Manager, The Great Trossachs Forest), Carol Evans (Woodland Trust Scotland), Anne McCall (RSPB Scotland).


Environment Minister, Dr Aileen McLeod, today (Monday 12 October) visited The Great Trossachs Forest – Scotland’s newest National Nature Reserve and the biggest reserve of its kind in the UK.

Hailed as an exemplar and a jewel in the crown of Scotland’s forests, the Great Trossachs Forest is managed in partnership between Forest Enterprise Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Woodland Trust Scotland and is located at the heart of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

The Great Trossachs Forest covers an area the size of Glasgow (16,500ha). More than 1.5 million trees have been planted through the project, which will eventually create one of the UKs largest native woodlands in one of Scotland’s most celebrated landscapes.

Dr McLeod, said;

“Since The Great Trossachs Forest was established in 2009, the partners have made a 200-year commitment to manage the area for native woodlands, whilst at the same time celebrating the area’s beauty and rich cultural heritage.

“This has delivered a unique blend of benefits – from enhancing biodiversity to supporting outdoor learning and research, and of course creating outdoor leisure opportunities and boosting tourism.

“The accolade of National Nature Reserve reflects this mix of qualities and helps confirm the Great Trossachs Forest project as a showcase for landscape-scale, co-operative land management. It is a jewel in the crown of Scotland’s forests.”

The National Nature Reserve accolade is awarded to areas managed to conserve sites of nationally or internationally important species or habitats and which are also managed to help people enjoy nature.

The Great Trossachs Forest met the criteria on several counts, including: containing nine designated sites along with other important non-designated habitats; being home to protected species such as golden eagle, pine marten, otter and red squirrel; and an ongoing programme of work to remove invasive species and non-native trees.

Providing people with opportunities to visit the area to learn or to simply enjoy nature was another of the criteria met. Thanks to a recent award from the Heritage Lottery Fund two Visitor Gateways have been built. A new long distance path has also been created (The Great Trossachs Path) to connect a wider network of trails and natural play and sculpture trails installed.

The Great Trossachs App has also been developed to guide and inform people about the natural and cultural heritage of The Great Trossachs Forest NNR.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of Forestry Commission Scotland and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  5. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6508 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.