News and events





Highland Glen home of giants


Reelig Glen, a Forestry Commission Scotland site near Inverness, is home to four of the tallest trees in Britain - one of which is also the tallest of its kind in Europe!


Everyone knows the famous Dughall Mor - a Douglas Fir that at one time held the title of Britain's tallest tree - but it's been pipped by another Douglas Fir some 50m further down the hill, which standing at an incredible 66.4m tall, is the tallest conifer in Europe.


Giles Brockman, Environment Manager for the Commission's team in Inverness, Ross & Skye, said


"We've always known that we have some of the finest air and richest soil up here, but we're beginning to think there might be something special about the waters in the Moniack Burn, too!


"It's quite something to have four of the tallest trees in Britain and to have one of those also hold the European title is pretty amazing. The glen has obviously provided some protection from the harshest of the elements to give all of these trees a good solid start in life, which has let them come on in leaps and bounds.


"But ... trees keep growing so this is an annual championship contest based on how well each tree grows each season: inches do count and everything could be sabotaged by one overweight pigeon breaking off the leading shoot!"


As well as being home to the tallest conifer in Europe, Reelig Glen is also home to the tallest Larch in Britain (48m), the British champion Norway spruce (47m) and Britain's tallest lime tree (46m)!


And if that isn't enough, the firs in Reelig Glen, many of which were planted in the 1880s, now form a grove that is the largest concentration of trees exceeding 55 metres (180 feet) anywhere in the British Isles.


The tallest conifer find was recorded last year during a survey and was published in The Tree Register, a registered charity that collates and updates a database of notable trees throughout Britain and Ireland.


The unique register has details of more than 150,000 trees, some of which are rare, unusual or historically significant and, providing full data on the largest trees of each species, is the definitive record of Britain and Ireland's champion trees.


For more information about the Tree Register visit


The 4th NTCS e-newsletter is now out, you can read it here ...


New Regius Keeper Appointed at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Milne MBE as its new Regius Keeper. Milne will succeed Professor Stephen Blackmore following his retiral later this month and will become only the 16th person to hold the post since it was created in 1699.


Milne (54) is currently Chief Executive at the Scottish Wildlife Trust in Edinburgh, a post he has held since 2004. Prior to this, he was Director of the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire for four years, preceded by a distinguished 20-year career as a Royal Marines officer.


Sir Muir Russell, Chair of RBGE Board of Trustees paid tribute to the new appointee: "I am delighted to have someone of Simon’s calibre joining us to continue the excellent work done by Steve Blackmore. Simon is familiar with many of the issues facing us, particularly our hot topics of conservation and biodiversity, and we will benefit hugely from his extensive experience in senior leadership roles. I very much look forward to working with him in the future."


Milne said he was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to take up such a prestigious and important role, adding: "I had a fulfilling and enjoyable time leading the Scottish Wildlife Trust; it was an honour to work with so many committed staff, volunteers and members to help protect and restore our precious wildlife and wild places. The role of Regius Keeper at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh offers me an opportunity to return to the remarkable world of plants. I am looking forward with relish to new challenges and the opportunity to play a crucial role in developing appreciation, education, knowledge and conservation of the plant kingdom."


The new Regius Keeper will take up his post in February.


For more information, interviews and images please call Shauna Hay on 0131 248 2900/ 07824 529 028 or Sandra Donnelly on 0131 248 1037.


You can now view a PDF of all three presentations given during our 2nd annual networking day, which was held at Benmore Botanic Garden in June 2013.

Please click here to download the PDF ...


New documentary celebrates the work of David Douglas

A new documentary celebrating the life and achievements of renown Scottish plant collector David Douglas is now available to buy on DVD. Douglas was responsible for introducing many new species of plants to cultivation from his travels in North America in the 1820s and 1830s. He is particularly famous for introducing many of the giant western north American conifers including Sitka spruce, now the mainstay of the Scottish forestry industry, grand fir, and Douglas fir. The documentary charts his life and legacy, visible today in almost every landscape across Scotland. It is available to purchase on DVD from the Forestry Commission Scotland's Perth and Argyll conservancy office.
View the flyer for more information ...


New management plan published for the Lake Woodlands at Smeaton, March 2013

Click here to view management plan ...


Rescue Mission for Scotland's Heritage Trees, 19 February 2013

Click here to view press release ...


NTCS newsletter – June 2013

NTCS newsletter – December 2012

NTCS newsletter – May 2012


New NTCS Tree Trail for Camperdown Park


NTCS is pleased to announce the launch of a new tree trail at Dundee's Camperdown Park. The trail was launched on Friday 31st August to coincide with the Flower and Food Festival which took place over the weekend. The trail highlights 25 trees found throughout the park including the original 'Camperdown elm' – a mutant form of wych elm first discovered here in 1835 that has since been propagated and planted as an ornamental small tree in gardens around the world. Other featured trees include natives such as oak and lime, and some of the rarer and more unusual conifers like the 'Alerce' from Chlie and Argentina which is threatened in its native habitat.


Guided walks took place over the weekend to introduce festival-goers to the new trail. More in-depth information about the featured trees will be made available on a new Camperdown Park website which is set to be developed over the winter.


Click here to view Camperdown Tree Trail leaflet ...


New sites join National Tree Collections of Scotland

Click here to view press release ...


NTCS planting for the future at Scone Palace

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Launch of the National Tree Collections of Scotland, Scone Palace, 18 June 2011

Click here to view press release ...