Articles: Workings of the Forestry Commission

Galloway forest is the largest forested area in the UK, boasting 297 square miles of forestland (the next largest being the Kielder forest in Northumberland, England). Galloway is situated to the South West of Scotland near Dumfries. Famed for being one of the only areas in the UK where no permanent lighting is allowed, you are able to see the night sky at its brilliant best with virtually no light pollution.

Forestry and Land Scotland, which was rebranded from the forestry commission when it was split apart into the various areas of the UK, look after the forest and make sure it is available to be enjoyed by all. They maintain walking and cycle paths, allow you to observe the wildlife of the forest and fish selected lochs within the district (as long as you have a permit).

Another major part of Forestry and Land Scotland is to maintain a supply of timber from its forests in a sustainable, managed environment. Galloway Forest is used to supply various sawmills in the region, with softwoods such as Larch and Spruce, so harvesting needs to be well managed to avoid deforestation. This aids supply and has a positive impact on environment by turning timber into a renewable resource.

Want to take a closer look?

If you’re interested in finding out more about the role that the forestry commission has in the forest, including:

  • Guiding tourism
  • Managing timber supply
  • Planting Trees
  • Maintenance of pathways

Then you might be interested in a new TV show on BBC Scotland called “The Forest” (available on freeview and on the iPlayer for the rest of the UK).

The show focuses on various teams who are all working on different roles within the forest. Episode 1 focuses on a team from Wales who attempt to harvest wood from some of the least accessible places in the forest. You will also see the forestry commission’s recreation team rebuild steps on a well-worn pathway at Fairy Knowe.