Credit: SCOTLAND: The Big Picture / naturepl.com
Loch Arkaig Pine Forest appeal, Scottish Highlands
Old and gnarled Scots pines. Secretive pine martens. Breath-taking loch-side views. With your help, some of Scotland’s finest and most fragile treasures will have the chance to thrive.
Support the forest's revival
Support the forest's revival
An ancient forest in need of restoration
In 2016, in partnership with local residents and with the support of people and organisations from across the UK, we acquired 2,500 acres of magnificent but degraded ancient Caledonian pinewood deep in the Highlands of Scotland.
Over the next 20+ years we will use our expertise to restore the pinewood to glorious native woodland, an important home for some of Scotland's most iconic wildlife. To achieve this we still need to raise at least £3.6 million. We can't do this without your help.
What we've achieved so far
We've already achieved much, but there is more to do to safeguard the future of Loch Arkaig and its wildlife. So far we've:
- sensitively upgraded and strengthened tracks and bridges to allow access to this remote site for restoration
- repaired deer-proof fencing to allow native plants to return and thrive
- removed invasive non-native rhododendron, which were stifling other plants, from 880 acres of forest.
But we're in it for the long haul, and this is just the start. Over the next five years we will:
- remove 70,000 tonnes of non-native trees using specialist equipment
- fight tree disease by taking out infected lodgepole pine
- restore up to 440 hectares of degraded peatland habitats
- control invasive non-native species such as Japanese knotweed.
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.
Credit: John MacPherson / WTML
Special habitats safeguarded
Fire-damaged trees still stand throughout the forest, killed by a blaze started by training commandos in the 1940s. This sort of deadwood is an incredibly rare habitat. The aptly named 'fire lichen', which only grows on charred conifers, was found here by scientists in 2019. It has been recorded in just three other locations in the UK.
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.
Explore it for yourself
Trees woods and wildlife
Loch Arkaig osprey cam
Follow the story of our resident osprey pair, Louis and Aila, from the heart of an ancient Caledonian pine forest.
Take a virtual tour of Loch Arkaig
Immerse yourself in an interactive Loch Arkaig experience with our virtual tour, including 360 images, maps, video and sound.
Woodland Walks podcast with Adam Shaw - Loch Arkaig