Forest Expansion

The Cairngorms National Park contains the most extensive tracts of Caledonian forest in Britain.These native woodlands are the western-most link to the extensive boreal forest which formerly covered a much larger area of northern Europe. This is one of the most valuable ecological networks in Britain but work is underway on a big scale to make it even better.

The vision is about creating a large-scale forest for the benefit of wildlife and people, a "super" forest. A forest that sees missing woodland types restored up the hill and between catchments. A forest that has a woodland corridor connecting the forest of Deeside with those of Strathspey, that could theoretically allow crested tits to fly from one side of the National Park to the other.

Work is underway in the Cairngorms on some of the most significant woodland restoration projects taking place in the UK or anywhere. Imagine a spectacular landscape, stretching from strath floor, through high nature value farms with wooded glens and riparian corridors through to large, connected forests that march up the hill and thin out into dwarf willows and on to open moorland, with high peaks in the far distance. At the woodland edge, black grouse display on a spring dawn. Capercaillie lek among the pine trees and butterflies frequent the plentiful wildflowers. Red grouse and ptarmigan abound on the higher ground and two species of eagle soars high above the mountains. This is what these enlightened land owners are aiming for.


Forest expansion is a long-term vision, but over time, the landscape can be transformed, returning heavily grazed land and plantation forestry to a more natural and dynamic mix of habitats. The expansion of these forests will mitigate against climate change, develop a sustainable timber resource, aid forestry business development, foster community development, promote access and health, improve environmental quality and benefit woodland biodiversity.


Large areas of the CNP have been given a premuium payment rate under the new SRDP to encourage land owners to expand the forests and deliver this vision. For more info and help with applying Click Here


By working together we will help Cairngorms Nature to adapt to whatever the future holds and demonstrate what partnership can achieve.

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