Ambassador profile


  Name: Chris Marsh
  Function: Conservation Forester (Fort Augustus Forest District)
  Country: United Kingdom
  E-mail: chris.marsh(at)
  Tel: +44 (0) 13203 66322

Organisation profile


  Organisation: Forestry Commission Scotland (Forest Enterprise Scotland)
  Tel: +44 (0) 84536 73787
  Established: Before 1945
  Category: State Forest Service
  Number of staff: 952
Site profile
  Site name:

Kinloch and Kyleakin Hills


Isle of Skye, Scotland

  Land area:

5,267 ha

  Nearest urban settlement:


  Natura 2000 ID:

UK 003 0176


Currently no stand alone website. Forestry Commission website hosts details of forest walks and wildlife/woodland interest at site locations: Kinloch and Kylerhea.

  Annual visitor count:

Approx. 30,000

  Majority of visitors from:

50/50 split between local (year-round) walkers and summer tourists.

  Site description:

An extensive coastal and upland site on Torridonian sandstone. The lower slopes contain many fragmented areas of rocky woodland and wooded ravines varying from acidic oak-birch Quercus-Betula woodland, to base-rich ash-hazel Fraxinus excelsior-Corylus avellana woodland with a herb-rich ground flora. Several of the component woods support a very rich bryophyte flora, both as epiphytes and on block scree within the wood, with an internationally important representation of oceanic species, especially in ravines deeply cut into the sandstone. The woods are also important for epiphytic lichens, with good examples of oceanic communities. A complex mosaic of heath, mire and bog habitats occupies the large central (upland) area of the site and plays host to a similarly characteristic, yet rich, range of oceanic lower plant assemblages (mosses, liverworts and lichens).


All species
  Species code Latin name Common / local name
  1355 Lutra lutra Otter
All habitats (* indicates priority habitats)
  Habitat code Common / local name
  4010 Northern Atlantic Wet Heath with Erica tetralix
  4030 European dry heaths
  4060 Alpine & Boreal Heaths
  7130 Blanket bogs
  9180* Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines
Stakeholder profile        
  Stakeholder activity in the management planning process:
  Stakeholder group activity level
  hi ←       → nil
  Local Government        
  Central Government        
  Private landowners        
  Green NGOs        
  Private sector        
  Private individuals        
  Port authorities        
  Recreational groups        
Stakeholder success stories

Local Primary School Tree Nurseries

FCS established links with 4 local schools, trained some parents as 'mentors' to oversee pupils visiting the site's woodlands, gathering tree seed (acorns & hazelnuts), sowing and growing these seed in school ground tree nurseries and then planting these trees back on the site.


Set up Kinloch Hills Local Liaison Group

A mix of neighbouring residents, landowners, community groups, council rangers and local environmental NGOs - who meet quarterly with Forestry Commission staff to discuss site and management issues, opportunities for local input/activities, notification of forthcoming events, forest operations etc.


'Aig an Oir' environmental arts project.

The site was one of three west-coast Scotland areas that hosted an eighteen month Atlantic Oakwoods arts project in 2005/6. Local galleries & artists, members of the public, schools, special needs groups and tourists took part in a range of drawing/painting workshops, master classes, open days and exhibitions set in and around the site's oak woods through a partnership between the Society of Wildlife Artists and Forestry Commission Scotland.

Photo credit: Cailean Maclean, Chris Marsh, Bruce Talbot.
Communication profile

Activities and products for the communication of Natura 2000


Guided visits
Other: Kinloch Hills Local Liaison Group (quarterly meetings);
FCS are currently reviewing the site's Interpretive Strategy which may result in new media and methods of communicating Natura interests (Sept 2007).


  Event frequency
A few time per year


  Use of seasonal workers / volunteers


  Kind of work / volunteering opportunities
Conservation volunteering is undertaken on the site by Trees for Life (an NGO) who run 4 work weeks annually under the consent and direction of Forestry Commission Scotland.


  The organisation has a dedicated communication strategy for Natura 2000


  Site involved in joint working / networking


Site management profile
"Kyleakin & Kinloch Hills Restoration Project"
  Key site management issues:


  • Restoration of all native woodland and open ground habitats to Favourable status.
  • To maintain this status when achieved and - where possible and practical - investigate management prescriptions to further enhance the integrity and functionality of these habitats.


  Integration of Natura 2000 in overall site management:


Relevant Habitat and Species Action Plans are integrated into the site's Forest Design Plan (FDP). FDPs are the Forestry Commission's key site management documents - outlining management objectives and stipulating actions/management prescriptions in 5-yearly intervals for (at least) the next twenty years. The FDP therefore sets the context for site management and - in particular - serves as a reference document during the planning and implementation of forest operations upon the site.


  Key site management objectives:


  • New native woodland planting and regeneration proposals to achieve four-fold increase in coastal woodland habitat.
  • Associated deer management providing a catalyst for landscape-scale open ground habitat restoration.

A programme of non-native afforestation for timber production over a thirty year period (prior to the site's SSSI or Natura designations) had prioritised management on the successful establishment of these crops. Native woodland remnants and open ground habitats outwith these new afforested zones typically suffered adverse deer browsing pressure which in turn suppressed the ability for these habitats to regenerate and therefore perpetuate themselves.


  Stakeholders targeted as part of management action:


Key external funding is provided by BP through the Scottish Forest Alliance ( which brings this project into partnership with nine similar projects on FCS, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Woodland Trust Scotland sites. BP and these host organisations therefore communicate and meet to share experiences, ideas and best practice whenever possible and where mutually relevant. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have provided additional funding to the Restoration Project for biodiversity monitoring and interpretation. As a consequence, local SNH staff collaborate in management planning, in local liaison activities and in an advisory capacity when required.


  Description of work carried out / methods and methodology:


  • An Environmental Impact Assessment to assess and mitigate for the impacts of native woodland expansion. Archaeology, breeding birds, otters, local water supplies, visual impact, and possible impacts upon open ground and native woodland habitats were assessed.
  • New native woodland planting operations - phased over five years.
  • Removal of areas of non-native planted forest where open ground habitat and/or adjacent native woodland habitat were compromised by the increasing dominance and maturity of the planted crop.
  • Removal of redundant internal deer fencing that was concentrating deer browsing pressure on remnant native woodland.
  • A heightened programme of deer control to reduce resident populations to achieve restoration of open ground and remnant native woodland margins and to protect new native woodland plantings.
  • A new 5km walking and cycling trail network on the outskirts of the site's largest settlement (Kyleakin).
  • Environmental survey and monitoring
  • Ground preparation (mechanical mounding) and planting
  • Tree felling and tree mulching
  • Fence removal
  • Trail building
  • Deer stalking


  Results of action and activities:


The over-arching Scottish Forest Alliance partnership has allowed a greater level of transparency between this Project and the management styles/objectives employed by the other SFA partners: RSPB, WTS and BP.

New native woodland planting is still ongoing (two final planting phases: 2008 & 2009). The Local Liaison group continues to provide an effective method of maintaining community engagement with local stakeholders. The review of the site's Interpretive Strategy will hopefully bear out this engagement - successfully marrying the sensitive management of Natura habitats with a local desire for environmental and cultural heritage interpretation, recreation and ecotourism development.


  Indication of budget allocation for these tasks:


£906,000 (approx. Euros 1,300,000) for the implementation phase (2001-2010)



Financial overview
  Organisational budget for nature conservation (annual):


£3.6 million (approx. Euros 5,160,000 million)


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Kinloch and Kyleakin Hills: UK