Replanting The Caledonian Forest

Recovering a lost eden

The European Nature Trust is committed to habitat restoration efforts in Scotland. The country’s rugged beauty masks a history of ecosystem degradation. Stretching across 15,000 square kilometres, the rich Caledonian Forest – the UK’s last great wilderness expanse – was once a diverse, natural forest lining Scotland’s hills and glens. Over the centuries, vast tracts were deforested in the Highlands, the land cleared for cattle and sheep rearing. Much of the UK’s megafauna was removed.

With no predatory control from wolves and lynx, red and roe deer numbers in Scotland have reached unnatural highs. Through overbrowsing, deer limit the ability of Scotland’s forests to naturally regenerate.

driving reforestation at Alladale Wilderness Reserve

Alladale Wilderness Reserve, deep in the Scottish Highlands, is home to pockets of original, old-growth forest. The European Nature Trust, in collaboration with the Scottish Rural Development Programme, is promoting their regeneration and replanting vast tracts of deforested land.

Since 2009, nearly one million native tree species have been replanted at Alladale, from locally-reared native species including Scot’s pine, rowan, alder, birch, willow and aspen. In partnership with ecologists, we are promoting the natural regeneration of remaining old-growth forest, while controlling deer numbers to allow newly planted saplings to reach reproductive age. Replanted trees will, in time, provide the seed bank for wider natural regeneration, allowing wildlife to thrive.


1 million native trees replanted at Alladale
1 million native trees replanted at Alladale
1 million native trees replanted at Alladale

"The big question is, are we prepared to start the process of change? Are we prepared to see portions of Scotland become living landscapes again?"

 Paul Lister
Custodian of Alladale, TENT Founder & Trustee

Play your role in the recovery of Scotland’s ecosystems:

By visiting Alladale Wilderness Reserve, you can engage with the movement to restore the Highland ecosystem. Watch red squirrels, ptarmigan and golden eagles; explore Alladale’s pioneering restoration efforts; and reconnect with true nature.
Visit Alladale wilderness reserve

Join our newsletter to connect with wild Europe

You've been added to our Newsletter!


* indicates required

By subscribing, you agree to TENT's Privacy Policy.

crosschevron-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram