Have you ever wondered what is the largest forest in Scotland, or even the smallest? What about the highest altitude woodland or the most remote site to visit? Well, look no further. Here’s an extract from The Forest Guide Scotland with a summary of some of the most notable forest sites across Scotland.
The Forest Guide Scotland was published by Bloomsbury earlier this year, and is the first of three guidebooks that I’m working on which will eventually include more than 1,000 forest sites across Britain. The Scotland guidebook features 365 sites, and in the table below I highlight the largest, smallest, highest altitude, most curious, the furthest from any road or most remote, the site with the tallest trees, the site with the rarest trees, and the most forested areas. Numbers in square brackets (e.g. ) refer to the site number in the guidebook.
|Scotland’s Forest Parks are the largest forested areas, but the largest single named forest in the guide is the Forest of Ae , covering 10,321ha.
|Halligarth  in the Shetland Islands is the smallest site in the guide at only 0.3ha.
|The highest-altitude woodland site featured is Creag Fhiaclach , whose Scots pine trees grow up to 648m above sea level, with montane scrub above. Some woodlands grow almost at sea level.
|Ae  might be the largest single forest, but ironically it has the shortest name in the guide. Wood Hill Wood  surely wins for most descriptive name, while evocative names abound, including Dark Mile  and Lost Valley .
|The Caledonian pinewood at Glen Kinglass  is the most remote site, furthest away from any road, with a return walking distance of at least 30km. Woodland sites on some of the isles require significant travel by sea or air to reach them, including Langass  on Uist, Berriedale  on Hoy and Halligarth  on Shetland.
|The greatest collection of champion trees (including a 62m-tall grand fir) can be found at Diana’s Grove , while the tallest tree in Britain (a Douglas fir measuring 65m) is currently growing at Laird’s Grove .
|The rarest tree found in any Scottish forest is the endemic Arran whitebeam growing at Gleann Diomhan .
|Argyll & Bute is the most forested region, with 28 per cent of its land covered by trees (almost three times that of England).
You can find out more about the sites by purchasing The Forest Guide Scotland, which is available in paperback or digital formats from all good bookshops, and online from Bookshop.org and Amazon. I also sell the guidebook in my online shop which will be supplied as a signed copy – see below.
I also offer a dynamic online map – The Forest Guide online – featuring a selection of useful data to accompany the text from The Forest Guides. Access is free for readers who have purchased a copy (via a unique code), or alternatively by paying a small one-time fee. Read more at the Forest Guide Online.
Shop for signed copies of the book below, and also take advantage of a discount on my Forests of Scotland 2024 calendar which features a selection of images from the guidebook.