Scotland has a very varied landscape just like the rest of the British Isles, but the scenery always seems bigger and more dramatic to me. I have visited Scotland almost every year for the past 20 years and always find it invigorating to all the senses. I stay on the banks of Loch Rannoch, in Perthshire, which is relatively remote, being 45 minutes away from any main town, the breathtaking views change constantly not only with the seasons but from hour to hour, especially if you wake up to the Scottish mist over the loch which, within an hour, disappears to reveal the stunning forests on the other side of the loch. Perthshire is known as “Big Tree Country” and here you can see the worlds Highest Beech Hedge, Europe’s oldest tree and the widest conifer in Britain. The tree types vary from Oakwood’s on the side of Loch Lomond to the Caledonian Pinewoods of Speyside.
[caption id="attachment_2732" align="alignright" width="300"] Timber harvesting in Kielder Forest © The Boy that time forgot[/caption]
Because of our timber door business, I am always fascinated to see the wood growing, which may one day become doors, furniture, and the timber construction used in the UK’s new homes. I love to walk into the forest with the dogs and always marvel at the colossal height of the trees. Many Scottish forests have been planted on an industrial scale, though native trees are now more evident and give a varied contrast to the massive pines. Scotland has historically been an intensely wooded area but at the beginning of the 20th century the management of the woodlands was poor. During the First World War it was realised that timber in the UK was depleted and something needed to be done to change this. In 1919 the Forestry Commission was created to alleviate this shortage for the future. The Forestry Commission in Scotland worked for the next 40 years to create a UK timber supply and since the woods and forests in Scotland has increased from approx. 4% of total land area to nearer 17.8% as a result of afforestation. Some of this planting has often created a negative effect due to the emphasis on timber production but since the 1980’s a more sensitive attitude to the landscape, recreation, biodiversity and rural development has played a bigger part in the maintenance of the forests.
These forests and woodlands still have many challenges especially with the current threats of pests and diseases such as Chalara fraxinea and Dothistroma septosporum. Quote from the Scottish Forestry trust “A recent joint article on Ash dieback by SFT Trustee, Dr Steve Woodward” of the University of Aberdeen has been written to see more click here
I can highly recommend a trip to this beautiful area of the UK it will certainly give all your senses a wonderful boost.