Lochaber, Scotland, UK

SIMWOOD activities

Regional contacts

Forestry Commission Research Agency
Gary Kerr ()

Small Woods
Ian Baker ()

Andrew Kitching ()



About Lochaber

Area: 4,400 km2
Population: 19,000
Forest area: 126,900 ha
Private forests: 105,000 ha (83% of total)
Private forest owners: many
Forest type: Nemoral Scots pine forest; mixed Scots pine-birch forest; acidophilous oakwood; plantations of site-native species

Specific situation

  • Interesting contrast in ownership between state-owned forests and private ownership.
  • Private ownerships very variable, from traditional estates with a long history of woodland management to individuals with small parcels of unmanaged woodland.
  • Also intermediate scale woodlands that have recently passed from the state to community groups which intend to manage their woodlands for a wide range of objectives.
  • Many privately owned woodlands poorly stocked with limited regeneration, and are on sensitive organic soils.

Main challenges

  • Uptake of novel systems and the products/markets they can provide.
  • Stands of lodgepole pine currently under threat from Dothistroma needle blight (Dothistroma pini), a fungus that kills the tree over 2-4 seasons. How can these be used to recoup some of the investment made?






Regional initiatives

Forestry Commission Scotland
Small Woods


Find us from

EU flag
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 613762.