Tall and distinguished, the Scots pine punctuates skylines with delightful charm. And in winter their immediately recognisable presence is felt even more strongly. But these trees are staggering well beyond their statuesque magnificence. Living up to 700 years’ old they’ve seen a thing or two over the centuries; it’s written all over their craggy, deeply fissured bark.
On a mission to be just that bit closer to the heavens with their upright, towering trunks, they stand like sentinels of the landscape.
But for all their big, bold presence they gently nurture some of nature’s finest and rarest wildlife – from the wonderfully named ‘creeping lady’s tresses’ and lesser twayblade orchids to the all too rare twinflower, which were almost wiped out by the clearance of native woodlands back in ‘the good old days’. These are floral gems that are just so precious – and somehow made more fragile by our hardly knowing them at all.
Scots pinewoods are also home to the Scottish wood ant, the Rannoch lopper, the capercaillie, the crested tit and the crossbill.