Craigvinean Forest: Scotland’s oldest managed forest shows what forest restoration can look like

Craigvinean Forest, one of Scotland’s oldest managed forests, is often cited as a timber plantation that “could help end deforestation” and an example of what forest restoration can look like.

Created from larch seed planted by the Dukes of Atholl, some 27 million conifers were planted in and around Dunkeld between 1738 and 1830. The lower forest slopes are a mix of Scots pine and beech trees, while the upper slopes include many larch trees. These trees have grown well, and provide a good yield of commercial timber for local saw mills.

Sensitive management from the Forestry Commission has enabled natural regeneration of the forest, including a range of native broad-leaved trees, after the conifers have been harvested.

The Perthshire-based forest has also become home to wildlife including the protected red squirrels. More than 350,000 visitors a year come to walk in the woods and cycle along mountain bike trails.

Craigvinean Forest

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at

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