Rising from the shores of Upper Loch Torridon in the West Highlands, Ben Shieldaig is 3,800 acres of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Bought earlier this year, this is the Woodland Trust’s first mountain. For our latest episode, I was lucky enough to join the Trust's Malcolm Turner and Donnie Chisholm for a tour of the site.

Home to ancient birchwood and Caledonian pinewood, it's a wonderful example of Scotland’s rainforest. This well-kept secret is a hub of wildlife including golden eagles, pine martens and red squirrels. It’s brimming with some of the world’s rarest lichens, bryophytes, liverworts and fungi.

Already a breathtaking place, the Trust has grand plans for Ben Shieldaig. By expanding and connecting native woodland up and down the west coast, it will create an even more spectacular place for people and wildlife to enjoy. I don’t think it’s going to stay secret for long.

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New to the podcast?

Don’t miss our previous episodes:

  1. Heartwood– we visit a vast forest of ancient woodland, newly planted trees, wildflower meadows and fantastic wildlife. I was joined by Beccy Speight, then-chief executive of the Trust, and Tim Wright and Brian Legg, two of Heartwood’s amazing volunteers.
  2. Loch Arkaig - hear from site manager Steve Morris, raptor expert Lewis Pate, project manager Jessica Maxwell and other custodians of this truly astonishing landscape as we explore the wilderness of Loch Arkaig Pine Forest.
  3. Trees on farms – David Rose shows us how trees on his Nottinghamshire farm make a difference for the business and for local communities. Discover the edible woodland and forest school area and meet some of the farm’s visitors, along with the Trust’s Ruth Hyde and Helen Chesshire who explain that trees are important outside woods as well as in.

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I am keen to hear from you as well – so if you have a favourite woodland walk, do tell me about it in a short email or if you can, make a 5 minute or so recording of your own walk and we may feature your woodland walk in a future podcast.

I’ll be off on another woodland walk soon. Hope you can join me.

Discover more about woods and trees in Scotland