You helped us climb a mountain

In 2019 we were given the incredibly rare opportunity to purchase our very first mountain. Thanks to your help, Ben Shieldaig is now in our care. In under two months your fantastic donations helped us raise the purchase price of £1.6 million, £200,000 of which is thanks to support from players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Welcome to Ben Shieldaig.

This is Ben Shieldaig, a spectacular mountain over 500 metres in height on an estate over 4,000 acres in size. It sits within the beautiful west coast landscape on the shore of Loch Torridon, enjoyed by many photographers, hill walkers and tourists from all over the world.

This place really is unique as are the habitats that are here. We're standing in ancient semi-natural birch woodland that is just stuffed with mosses, lichens, liverworts – it's an absolutely amazing piece of woodland. Round the corner is a remnant of ancient Caledonian pine forest. This remnant is one of the most westerly pine woodlands in the UK and in Europe. It's also one of the closest to sea level. Sitting here in this part of the country, it's quite possibly genetically distinct from other pine woods outside of North West Scotland.

A place like this is really teeming with wildlife. At the tops of the hills there's golden eagles, and as you go into the woodland there's all sorts of birdlife. We've recently reintroduced red squirrels.

Buying Ben Shieldaig is a real opportunity for the Woodland Trust to buy an entire mountain, to protect the diverse ecosystems that thrive in a place like this. The birch wood and the pine wood are fragments of older, much larger woodlands. Buying this will protect these existing woodlands and allow them to expand on Ben Shieldaig but also linking up with work that's happening on other pieces of land to create a bigger, more resilient woodland.

Please help us realise this rare opportunity. Thank you.

Help us give Ben Shieldaig a bright future.

Secured for wildlife

Situated in picturesque Wester Ross in the North West Highlands, Ben Shieldaig is made up of around 3,800 acres of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery.

It’s a rare hub of unique wildlife: golden eagles soar, pine marten climb the trees, otters play by the shore and red squirrels nest in ancient Caledonian pinewood. It is also home to an area of ancient native birchwood, an important slice of Scotland’s rainforest which supports some of the world’s rarest mosses, lichens and liverworts.

Secured for Scotland

Native pinewood is part of Scotland's natural heritage. Unfortunately, much of Scotland’s ancient and special woodland is unmanaged and beginning to degrade. The hills around Ben Shieldaig were once much more densely forested, however today only individual trees and fragments of scattered woodland remain.

We can now work to make the estate as resilient and healthy as possible through a combination of natural regeneration, new native planting and effective deer management.

Visit for yourself

Two mighty estates, one mighty name — our two beloved estates, Ben Shieldaig and Couldoran, have been combined to create a single, majestic estate: Gleann Shildeag. Explore this wild and untamed beauty for yourself.

The future of Ben Shieldaig

The site may be secured, but our work has just begun. Over the next 20 years we will begin the process of planting, protecting and regenerating this Site of Special Scientific Interest so its wildlife can thrive and flourish.

We will:

  • use our expertise to manage the woodland, combining careful woodland creation with natural regeneration
  • fence areas of land to allow natural regeneration until new trees are established and deer numbers are managed
  • install gates and stiles to allow visitor access
  • consult with the local community and work closely with neighbouring landowners
  • link up habitats, creating networks for wildlife.

Help us fulfil our vision

Ben Shieldaig is an entire ecosystem in one of the best known upland landscapes in the UK. Woodland creation schemes of this magnitude seldom become available, especially in such an iconic location. It’s a huge responsibility and achieving our vision is going to take at least 20 years – but it will be worth the wait.

Support our work

Whatever you choose to give, donating online is secure, quick and cost effective so more money goes directly towards our work in Scotland.