The Caledonian Forest

With its ancient pines and spectacular mountain scenery, the Caledonian Forest is Scotland’s most iconic landscape. It once covered a large part of the Scottish Highlands and takes its name from the Romans, who called Scotland 'Caledonia', meaning 'wooded heights'. 

The native pinewoods, which formed the westernmost outpost of the boreal forest in Europe, are estimated to have once covered 1.5 million hectares as a vast primeval wilderness of Scots pinebirchrowanaspenjuniper and other trees. On the west coast, oak and birch trees predominated in a temperate rainforest ecosystem rich in ferns, mosses and lichens. Many species of wildlife flourished in the forest, including the European beaverwild boarlynx, moose, brown bear and wolf, as well as several notable species of birds - the capercailliecrested tit and the endemic Scottish crossbill, which occurs nowhere else in the world apart from the pinewoods.

Unique biodiversity

Learn about the vast array of species that make up the Caledonian Forest ecosystem.




Other Species


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