Alladale Wilderness Reserve Restores Rare Caledonian Pinewood

Alladale Wilderness Reserve, a 23,000-acre highland estate in the Caledonian Forest and one of Scotland’s longest standing rewilding projects, has received recognition for successfully restoring a remote fragment of Scotland’s ancient Caledonian pinewood. Working in partnership with NatureScot and the Scottish Rural Development Programme, Alladale considers restoring woodland as central to its rewilding vision.

This globally unique habitat is home to rare and specialised species, including pine martens and red squirrels, as well as butterflies, lichens, fungi and wildflowers. The Caledonian pinewood found at the Alladale Wilderness Reserve is the second most northerly fragment of this critically rare habitat.

This success story is down to the nature recovery efforts introduced by current custodian and conservationist Paul Lister, who, along with his team, has transformed the management of Alladale, restoring natural habitats and saving this important pinewood fragment.  With the support of NatureScot and the Scottish Rural Development Programme, they've fenced the pinewood to relieve the deer grazing pressure and allow pine seedlings to grow. They have also planted almost a million new native trees.

Now, the forest is thriving and has expanded massively. In addition to Scots Pine, rowan, willow, birch, alder, aspen and juniper are all increasing in area and abundance. In time, these young trees will themselves set seed, ultimately ensuring new generations and a resilient Caledonian forest once more.

Reserve Manager at Alladale, Innes MacNeill said, “A restored woodland and a healthy ecosystem is central to the vision for Alladale Wilderness Reserve. We have been working hard on this for two decades, so it is rewarding for us to reach this milestone and have this officially recognised. The hard work will obviously continue; our ethos at Alladale is simple: we will leave the land in better condition than it was found.”

Book Now for Christmas and New Year
Curate your own festive break in this natural winter wonderland, with a fully-catered stay in Alladale Lodge itself (sleeps up to 14) or Eagles Crag, a three bed lodge sleeping up to eight. Located just an hour and a half’s drive north of Inverness, Alladale Wilderness Reserve provides the perfect escape to explore the Scottish Highlands’ dramatic glens and glistening rivers. Spot native wildlife, go forest bathing, and forage for dinner, all while learning and participating in inspiring wildlife projects and native tree planting. The brave can try wild swimming, or go hiking or mountain biking; and there’s bird watching and fishing aplenty. Enjoy hearty dishes made from local, seasonal ingredients.  Contact the Alladale team to create a bespoke stay.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2023