FCS Purchase Upper Rothiemurchus Forest

Upper Rothiemurchus Forest Credit Tom Baker - web

The Upper Rothiemurchus, one of Scotland’s largest ancient Caledonian Pine forests, has been purchased by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS).

Upper Rothiemurchus Forest Credit Tom Baker - web

Upper Rothiemurchus Forest (c) Tom Baker 


The 2,300 hectare site was bought by FCS for £7.4 million, ending the Grants of Rothiemurchus over-500 year ownership of the forest.

Announcing the sale, John Clegg & Co said:

“Extending to over 2,300 hectares/5,700 acres, Upper Rothiemurchus is located on the edge of the Cairngorm Mountains to the south-east of Aviemore. The forest and its setting produces stunningly beautiful scenery and internationally-recognised habitat for some of Scotland’s most iconic and, in some cases, rare species. It is an ancient pinewood of the highest quality and is a living multi-layered mosaic of habitats including bog, muskeg and riversides with native woodland species including juniper, birch, oak, willow and alder supporting thousands of species of wildlife, many unique to this environment. This is no commercial timber plantation but is a natural forest, more complex, more delicate and needs to be sensitively and carefully enjoyed and managed.

“Since the last ice age retreated 10,000 years ago, downy birch and Scots pine became the dominant species, tolerant of the climate and thin acidic soils over freely draining glacial deposits. Upper Rothiemurchus Forest is a most important remnant of the Caledonian forests that previously covered much of the uplands of Scotland.”

Welcoming the new land acquisition, Environment & Climate Change Minister, Paul Wheelhouse said:

“This is fantastic news – that this nationally significant move has secured one of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes for the nation to enjoy.

It is a magnificent addition to the National Forest Estate and will allow Forestry Commission Scotland to enhance this environmental ‘jewel in the crown’.

The Grant family has, for generations, carefully managed this stunning area of Scotland and the Forestry Commission will ensure that this high standard of stewardship continues.

The sale now brings into public ownership a significant area of some of the best native pinewood remnants in Scotland. The Commission manages other native pinewoods in the area so it will allow planning, working in partnership, and action to enhance this on a truly landscape level.”

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