Admiring the Universe - a fine-art photographer based in Perthshire, Scotland, with interests in landscape, nature and astrophotography

Caledonian Forest, Glen Lyon

Caledonian Forest, Glen Lyon
About 15 years ago, I first drove through Glen Lyon - not particularly aware of the story of the landscape, but I was still struck by a line of Scots Pine trees draped over the hillside, undulating their way down into the glen.
Last year, after reading a book on Caledonian Forest remnants around Scotland, I stumbled across Meggernie and investigated it on the map; with a thrill I realised this was the same line of trees I'd seen. So further investigation was called-for.

The Caledonian Forest has been through a lot. By definition, its trees are direct descendants of trees present after the Late Glacial ice age, about 7000yr ago. Reaching its peak extent around 5000yr ago, Scotland's climate became wetter and windier, reducing it until about 2000BCE. Since then, it has been mostly human influence responsible for its decrease; one particularly notable idiot was Robert Campbell of Glen Lyon, who attempted to extend Meggernie Castle (almost directly behind the camera view here), replacing its roof with slate, whilst maintaining a gambling habit - in desperation he sold off all the Caledonian Forest remnants in Glen Lyon. Fortunately, the trees blocked the river, putting an end to felling.

Since then, while much of the glen remains typically Highland barren, Meggernie has become a sizeable remnant, with several areas protected with deer fencing to allow younger trees to grow. And on an autumn day, it's particularly beautiful.


Camera: Hasselblad L1D-20c ISO: 400
Focal Length: 10.3mm (28mm-e) Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 0.06666666667s


GPS location: 56.575962, -4.387987