Glenmore Forest Park: 100 Years of Public Ownership

On Friday the 8th of September, the Minister for Energy and the Environment, Gillian Martin, joined foresters past and present to mark the centenary of Glenmore Forest Park being in public ownership.  

Glenmore was purchased from the Duke of Gordon in 1923, only four years after the establishment of the Forestry Commission.  

Since its entry into public forestry, Glenmore has experienced all of the changes in the forestry sector, including the early years of forestry expansion, the decades of technological and sociological change, and – over the past 40 years - the tempering of commercial concerns with conservation.  

Gillian Martin, said;  “It is a pleasure to meet some of the foresters – past and present – whose efforts have contributed to making Glenmore Forest Park what it is today. 

“It is quite a unique location that embodies the evolution of forestry practice – and the results that those changes have wrought - across the country over the past 100 years. 

“Timber production still has a part to play but Glenmore has become a much loved and hugely popular visitor destination and is also recognised for the major contribution made here to habitat restoration and species conservation – not least of the endangered capercaillie and more recently the release of wildcats into Glenmore Forest. 

“Having played a significant role in Scotland’s past, forests like Glenmore are even more critical to our future, capturing carbon emissions and helping to mitigate climate change. 

“The next 100 years will bring new challenges but I have no doubt that the passion, dedication and expertise of the foresters who look after this amazing place will ensure that Glenmore Forest Park continues to thrive.”  


Old Forestry Land Scotland maps, leaflets, and photographs on display at the Glenmore Visitor Centre to mark the centenary. Photo: Lizzie Brotherston, Cairngorms Connect


Over the last 30 years an extensive felling programme of non-native conifers (around 500 hectares) and effective deer control is helping to expand the native Scots Pine forest largely through natural regeneration. This work will continue with Forestry and Land Scotland estimating the non-native conifer removal will take another 15 years to complete. 

Balancing conservation, forestry, recreation and community interests has been made considerably more challenging with the additional pressures of the impacts of the Climate Emergency and the biodiversity crisis.  

From the Forestry Commission being the only public agency working with private landowners in the area in 1923, Forestry and Land Scotland now works in partnership with many local organisations – such as The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and many community organisations and businesses – to address these challenges.

Along with Wildland Ltd, RSPB Scotland, and NatureScot, Forestry and Land Scotland is part of Cairngorms Connect, a partnership of neighbouring land managers committed to a bold and ambitious 200-year vision to enhance habitats, species and ecological processes across a vast area within the Cairngorms National Park.

Working together to develop pragmatic, co-operative and innovative solutions will help ensure that Glenmore Forest Park goes from strength to strength in the decades ahead. 

Anyone interested in the 20th Century history of Glenmore can find out more in the Touchwood History “No rivalry but different.” 

This press release was issued by Forestry and Land Scotland on Friday the 8th of September 2023.

Feature Image: Minister for Energy and the Environment, Gillian Martin, poses with the newly planted commemorative tree and members of Forestry and Land Scotland past and present  © Forestry and Land Scotland


The commemorative tree, a native Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) and plaque now in place at the front of the Glenmore Visitor Centre. Photo: Lizzie Brotherston, Cairngorms Connect.

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