Callendar Wood

A significant ancient woodland occupying gentle north-facing slopes between Callendar House and Hallglen, which forms a dramatic backdrop to the town of Falkirk in Falkirk Council Area, Callendar Wood extends to 100 ha (250 acres) lying between 40m (131 feet) and 115m (377 feet) above sea level. It is owned and managed by Forestry and Land Scotland, having been purchased from the Callendar Estate in 1999.

The woodland most-likely existed in the 12th C. and represented oak coppice woodland with extensive mine workings when William Forbes bought the Callendar Estate at auction in 1783, following the liquidation of the York Buildings Company. It was reshaped as a designed landscape during the 19th C., with the addition of a mausoleum, estate kennels (now restored), together with avenues and carriageways lined with specimen trees. In the 20th C. part of the wood was turned over to commercial timber production with the planting of stands of mixed conifers, including Sitka and Norway spruce, larch, Scots pine, Douglas fir, Grand fir and Red cedar. Extensive areas of old oak woodland remain, much of semi-natural origin, alongside pine and sycamore. Openings within the conifer plantations have brought natural regeneration, with species including birch, young conifers, sycamore, beech and holly.

The Forestry Commission have created new paths, waymarked trails and bridleways, and cleared invasive Rhododendron scrub. There are now over 6 miles (10 km) of carriageways, tracks and paths, many dating from the 1870s.

The diverse woodland of today has considerable value as a wildlife habitat, recreational resource and as an historic designed landscape.

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