News, stories and reports from Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Forest Estate

News blog

News, stories and reports from Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Forest Estate. You can follow this feed with RSS or Atom, or on Twitter. We also publish press releases.

Investigating lost ruins

Forest Enterprise Scotland recently surveyed and investigated the farmstead of the Wee Bruach, a series of ruined late 18th century buildings, enclosures and corn drying kilns in Loch Ard ahead of harvesting operations. The buildings were identified as unusual by the Scottish Vernacular Buildings Group. However, trees were growing very close to the buildings, so we recorded the site in advance of careful felling by Harvester machine. The buildings were surveyed by terrestrial laser scanning alongside an investigation of the available historic archives. This resulted in a detailed record of the site, informed the safe felling of the surrounding trees and has added to our knowledge of the history of the area.

Wee Bruach Caoruinn

This image shows the original hand-drawn plan of the farmstead from 1963 alongside the new plan, created using laser scanning and photographic colour.

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Scotland leading the way for new woodland creation

New figures released in June show that Scotland was responsible for 78% of new woodland creation in the UK last year. A total of 7,100ha of new woodland was planted.

Around 60 per cent (over 4,000ha) is ‘productive’ planting – specifically aimed at growing sustainable timber with 40 per cent native. This is the highest level of productive planting since 2000, and is crucial in supporting the sustainable growth of Scotland’s home-grown timber processors, who have been investing heavily in recent years in places such as the extended Norbord plant at Dalcross near Inverness.  

planting fc

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A day in the life of a Ranger in Aberdeenshire

Jackie Cumberbirch is a Ranger for Forest Enterprise Scotland, based in Moray & Aberdeenshire Forest District.

What does being a Ranger involve?

“It’s my job to assess what wildlife is present in Clashindarroch forest and woods in north and central Aberdeenshire before forestry work such as cutting trees (providing wood and timber for use in our daily lives), road construction and tree planting starts. I carry out surveys and, if required, make plans that will schedule forestry work to minimise impact or if necessary stop forestry work from impacting on protected animals or plants.”


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Hazelwood creation at The Faery Isles, West Argyll

30 kilos of hazel nuts were painstakingly hand-gathered to plant 4,000 hazel and 400 oak trees to create a new hazel wood in the Faery Isles, Knapdale, West Argyll.

Faery Isles Hazel Site

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Managing forests for wildcats

Wildcats are one of Scotland’s most endangered animals and their conservation and protection is of the highest priority. As with other endangered species, we work hard to protect them as part of our sustainable forest management.  Our aim is to ensure that wildcats can thrive on the National Forest Estate.

Clash cat 1

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FCS delivers on the Mackinnon recommendations

The review of forestry planting approvals has been “an exciting opportunity to increase the pace of woodland creation delivery to benefit all stakeholders in Scotland”, according to James Nott, FCS Conservator for Grampian, who has led the implementation of the Mackinnon report.

FCS has been working to make tree planting easier, faster and more transparent following a review of the process by Jim Mackinnon CBE in December 2016. New figures reveal that over 10,000ha of new planting proposals were approved during 2017, an increase of 2,500ha from the previous year.

planting trees

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New workshops for woodland creation grants

Five workshops are being held across Scotland to help people applying for woodland creation grants to get the application right first time.

The workshops will explore the launch of the new applicant’s guidance due out soon, detailing the stages required for compiling a woodland creation proposal following the Mackinnon Review.

Planting picture

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The Forest, episode 5.

The popular documentary series, The Forest, is on tonight - BBC One Scotland at 19.30hours. Filmed over six months, the six part series gets views up close and personal with those who live and work in Galloway Forest Park.

Our Community Projects Manager, Lyndy Renwick, based in Galloway, was involved with the filming. Here she gives us an insight into the filming and explains a bit about her role.

A076 C036 20170831 P00000.Sub.01

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The Forest, episode 3

The Forest, BBC One Scotland’s new six part documentary series, returns to the screens tonight following the different people and timber related organisations that benefit from Galloway Forest Park.


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