Finding Scotland’s lost wild pines

Caledonian pinewoods are among our oldest and richest habitats. They are characterised by wild Scots pines, descended from Scotland’s once-vast ancient forests, and have been shaped and valued by people for centuries. They provide refuge for some of our rarest wildlife, yet cover only 1% of the Highlands today.

Despite this, some Caledonian pinewood sites are yet to be documented. These ‘lost’ wild pine fragments are often hidden away within gorges or scattered through old birchwood in the western Highlands where they form part of Scotland’s rainforest.

The Wild Pine Project aims to identify and map these important refuge areas and ancient pine populations so they can become targets for restoration action. We will do this by tracing their history back through the centuries and carrying out field surveys to assess their age and condition – then work to secure their recognition, recovery and expansion.


  • Discover and document 50 wild pine sites that are not yet officially recognised

  • Present findings from 30 sites to relevant land managers to help inform future restoration work

  • Enable remedial work at ten threatened wild pine sites

Working with

The Wild Pine Project is a partnership project between Trees for Life and Woodland Trust Scotland. It is funded by Woodland Trust Scotland, thanks to the support from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, and by the TreadRight Foundation