Type of tree:
The Granny Pine at Glen Affric.
This magnificent 330 -year old Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), grows on a promontory overlooking the River Affric. It is a remnant of the now endangered Caledonian Forest where the predominant trees are Scots pine. In Glen Affric Scots pines have grown for nearly 10,000 years.
Although the Caledonian Forest once covered most of the Highlands, now only 1% is forested as a result of the felling and intensive sheep grazing that happened during the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the pines in Glen Affric survived, probably because it was so remote a spot and the rivers were too shallow to allow logs to be floated away.
When the Forestry Commission acquired the site in 1951 it began to reduce the pressure on the trees from grazing sheep and red deer. Since then many young trees have sprung up and these in turn have produced seed and young pines.
This splendid ancient tree, an icon of the Highlands, can be seen by the 70,000 visitors to Glen Affric each year and as the Forest re-grows, it truly deserves the title of ‘Granny Pine’.