Scotland’s Rainforest

Scotland’s rainforest is a very precious temperate habitat, rarer than tropical rainforest but equally as important. It provides a refuge for some of the world’s most endangered bryophytes and lichens. Yet few people know it exists and fewer still know how globally significant it is.

This rich habitat is home to a variety of birds, mammals and insects, including red squirrels, pine martens, otters and Scottish wildcats. Scarce and threatened birds, including spotted flycatchers, pied flycatchers and wood warblers (all of which are red-listed on the UK’s Birds of Conservation Concern) make their summer homes in the rainforest.

What is a Rainforest

Infographic from Plantlife

Why is Scotland’s Rainforest in Danger

This rainforest is in danger – it accounts for only 2% of Scotland’s woodland, meaning only 30,000 hectares of this vital habitat remain. It is choked by rhododendron; unable to regenerate due to grazing pressure; crowded by conifer plantations; and exposed to ash dieback and nitrogen pollution. On the Morvern Peninsula, the RSPB is undertaking a huge project to clear invasive non-native plants, control grazing pressures, engage the local community, provide jobs, training and volunteer opportunities. The Argyll Coast and Countyside Trust is undertaking similar work on Scotland’s rainforest in Argyll.

The Alliance For Scotland’s rainforest and Plantlife aims to:

  1. Establish landscape-scale projects to restore and expand rainforest sites.
  2. Identify how the Scottish Government could give greater priority to restoring Scotland’s rainforest.
  3. Encourage and enable landowners and managers to restore and expand the rainforest in core areas.
  4. Work together to share ideas, information, knowledge and expertise to continually improve our understanding of how to best manage the rainforest.

You can read more about Scotland’s rainforest here.

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