Nature Heroes - Alladale Wilderness Reserve - Caledonian pinewood restoration

Restoring our ancient forests in Scotland – from the west coast to the Highlands to the Scottish Borders - is a labour of love that spans generations.

Step forward a fragment of Caledonian pinewood on the Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Sutherland which has been restored after 20 years and continues to expand. Its successful recovery has been thanks to partnership working with the Scottish Government and a charity.

And in 2023, NatureScot surveyed the expanding pinewood fragment and concluded it has returned to favourable condition. Testament to hard work and dedication from all involved.

Alladale Wilderness Reserve tiles
Alladale Wilderness Reserve - Project Highlights
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A series of 6 graphical tiles.

  • At its peak, ancient woodland covered 70% of Scotland
  • Only 84 fragments of the Caledonian pinewood survive in Scotland
  • 23% of the Caledonian pinewood is critically threatened
  • The Alladale Wilderness Reserve planted one million new native trees including Scots pine, rowan, willow and juniper
  • The natural regeneration of forestry on the 23,000-acre Alladale Wilderness Reserve is helped by deer management
  • The Alladale Wilderness Reserve is restoring 550 acres of peat bog, a natural carbon store and haven for wildlife.

Caledonian pinewood restoration was initiated by Paul Lister, who bought the Alladale Estate in 2003. The Estate team have been supported by rewilding charity Trees for Life, the Scottish Government’s Scottish Rural Development Programme and NatureScot.

Nature Heroes
Nature Heroes - Alladale Wilderness Reserve

Find out more

Scottish Government Nature Restoration Fund

Scotland's Biodiversity Strategy and the Consultation

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