Scotland's historic environment

The landscape of Scotland tells the story of some 10,000 years of human history and the ways in which people have interacted with their environment. Part of that story is under the canopy of Scotland’s woodlands, evidence of past lives preserved both above and below ground.

An integral part of that story is the history of the trees themselves and their relationship with Scotland’s people. Over the centuries, that relationship has developed and matured through phases of exploitation, management and re-establishment. Today we recognise that Scotland’s woodlands are a central part of our culture, economy and environment.

The current stewards of  Scotland’s woodlands recognise that they have a duty to identify and protect heritage features, and to take due account of cultural, historic and designed landscapes when drawing up forest management plans.

There's also encouragement for active management to secure and enhance its condition for future generations. Good interpretation, coupled with creating an appropriate setting for features, can enhance the recreational interest of woodland. When carried out in an informed and sensitive way, such work can foster a better appreciation and understanding of the historic dimension and character of our essentially cultural landscape.

View our historic environment publications to find out more.

Online training course

Our training course promotes best practice in the identification, protection and conservation management of the historic environment to be found within and around Scotland’s forests and woodlands.

The course has been developed especially for woodland managers to help them develop their forest management plans with respect to the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) Forests and Historic Environment Guidelines. It'll also be relevant to all those who have an interest in the evidence of the historic environment that can be found within our forests and woodlands, including the trees themselves.

The training course comprises 6 videos, lasting around 25 minutes each, presented by Thomas Rees of Rathmell Archaeology. You can skip through the sessions or access each session directly via the links below. It is recommended that you view all the sessions in the order they are presented.

Please note, there's no assessment or recognised accreditation for completing the training course.

Online training videos