Woodlands are important for our local eco-system, providing vital places for a diverse range of plants and wildlife to grow, feed, breed and take shelter. The Estate looks after over 550 hectares of native woodland that’s extremely complex in its structure and composition, including semi-natural woods that are made up of species like birch and rowan that are native to the valley slopes of Glenlivet.
Alder, aspen, birch and bird cherry are common across the Estate, whilst ash, wych elm, gean and goat willow are all confined to a few flushed brown forest soils in the lower reaches of the Avon and Livet, often on steep burnsides. Oak is scarce, with select felling and the local climate both possibly playing a part in its limited growth in the upper glens. Perhaps most striking is the almost complete absence of Scots pine. Self-sown Scots pine exists on several moorland areas on Glenlivet and on some river shingles but these are all thought to derive from seed from plantations.
You’ll see some ornamental planting on the Estate near large houses and villages including larch, ornamental conifers, beech, lime and sweet chestnut. However, Sycamore remains the most widespread broadleaf that’s been introduced – planted around many farms for shelter.
The ground flora of these woods includes:
- Blaeberry and cowberry
- Bush vetch
- Wood anemone
- Chickweed wintergreen
- Hard and oak fern
- A good shrub layer of juniper such as Bochel, Craggan and Cnoc Fergan
The other main category of woodlands is plantations. Typically, these are much more intensively managed, even-aged and structurally simple – often composing fewer tree species (including non-native species) and involving modification of natural ground conditions.
Gleyed peats provide the perfect home for birch, eared willow and a ground layer of Molinia grass, heather and bog myrtle, whilst the limestone of Creag nan Gamhainn offers ideal conditions for flora rich in several local and national rarities.
There is also an abundance of juniper on Glenlivet Estate. Often a relic of past woodland cover, this submontane scrub is now scarce in Britain but several remain on the Estate and provide an important habitat. Other native shrubs that can be found on the Estate include Hawthorn, blackcurrant, dog rose, broom and whins.
Travelling to Glenlivet by car, train, bus or bike? Your journey exploring the great outdoors starts here.
Location and map
Set in the stunning eastern Highlands of Scotland, there’s so much waiting to be discovered.