Lochaber, Scotland, UK

SIMWOOD activities

Regional contacts

Forestry Commission Research Agency
Gary Kerr ()

Small Woods Association LBG
Ian Baker ()

Rural Development Initiatives Ltd
Will Richardson ()



Focus on Lochaber

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Read the feature in SIMWOOD's October 2017 newsletter

Find out about:

  • SIMWOOD's work in the region
  • Pilot project: Living Working Woods – The
    mobilisation of social, environmental and
    economic assets of undermanaged and
    underutilised woodlands


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

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