This ancient forest is now on the road to restoration

In March 2016, we launched an appeal to buy and restore 2,500 acres of magnificent but degraded ancient Caledonian pinewood deep in the Highlands of Scotland. We had less than nine months to raise the funds.

In partnership with local residents, and thanks to support from people and organisations from across the UK, we succeeded in raising the £500,000 needed to buy the land.

Ancient pines protected

There are just 84 native pinewood fragments left in Scotland. The forest here is one of them. Its ancient, wide-crowned 'granny' pines are precious features of this iconic Scottish landscape and part of an endangered habitat. 

Pine marten on mossy branch

Credit: SCOTLAND: The Big Picture /

Incredible wildlife returning 

Wildlife cameras are helping us discover and monitor the animals using the forest. We'll manage the forest for their benefit, including putting up new nesting platforms for ospreys and boxes for pine martens.

Bleached tree at Loch Arkaig

Credit: John MacPherson / WTML

Special habitats safeguarded

Fire-damaged trees still stand throughout the forest, killed by a fire in the 1940s. This sort of deadwood is an incredibly rare habitat, home to fungi and lichens with particular needs that are found in few other places.

A future shaped by the community

We've partnered with Arkaig Community Forest - a small group of local residents who share our ambitious goals for the forest. Together we will carefully restore native woodland while delivering other environmental, social and economic benefits.

Players of People's Postcode Lottery are the lead funders of Loch Arkaig Pine Forest.

What's next for Loch Arkaig Pine Forest

Now that Loch Arkaig Pine Forest is safe in our hands we are actively planning for its future. And we're in it for the long haul. Over the next 20 years, we have plans to:

  • spend more than £5 million to restore the ancient woodland
  • plan and build infrastructure needed to access the site, including upgrading tracks and strengthening bridges
  • remove non-native trees using specialist equipment
  • fight tree disease by taking out infected lodgepole pine
  • restore peatland habitats that have been degraded with the planting of non-native trees
  • control invasive non-native species 
  • use wildlife cameras  and surveys to discover, monitor and share the forest's special wildlife.

There's still time to help

We can't do any of this without you. By donating to our Loch Arkaig fund, you'll make it possible for our work to continue.

Whatever you choose to give, donating online is secure, quick and cost effective, so more money goes directly towards supporting our work at Loch Arkaig.



Explore it for yourself

View of Loch Arkaig through trees

A Woodland Trust Wood

Loch Arkaig Pine Forest

Spean Bridge

1027.31 ha (2538.48 acres)

Explore this wood