Black Wood of Rannoch

A protected area of ancient woodland on the southern shore of Loch Rannoch in Perth and Kinross, the Black Wood of Rannoch is one of relatively few remaining sections of the old Caledonian Pine Forest which once covered Scotland, and the most extensive remnant in Perthshire. Lying between the Allt Camghouran in the west and the Dall Burn in the east, it extends along the shore of the loch for 3 miles (5 km). Forming part of the Tay Forest Park, managed by Forestry and Land Scotland, the Black Wood benefits from the status of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), with the protected area encompassing 1100 ha (2718 acres).

Native tree species include Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Silver Birch (Betula pendula), Downy birch (Betula pubescens), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), Alder (Alnus Glutinosa), Goat Willow (Salix caprea), Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) and Juniper (Juniperus communis). The management plan aims to extend the Black Wood by removing the non-native trees around its periphery and allowing natural regeneration. The wood contains important communities of other species characteristic of old pinewoods, particularly lichens and fungi, and supports a number of rare species, such as Coralroot (Corallorhiza trifida) and Serrated Wintergreen (Orthilia secunda). Also present here are populations of Scottish Crossbill (Loxia scotica) and Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus). Other notable fauna include Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis), Scottish Wood Ant (Formica aquilonia), Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris leucorus) and Pine Marten (Martes martes).

In the centre of the Black Wood are the remains of canals dating from the later 17th century that were used for transporting felled logs. These were sent down shoots into the loch to be floated down to a sawmill at Carie operated by the Forfeited Estates Commissioners. During World War II, the Canadian Forestry Corps felled trees at the eastern end of the wood and there are sawdust pits still visible near Dall.

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