Relics of Forest from the Ice Age
The Caledonian Forest takes its name from the Romans who called Scotland ‘Caledonia’ meaning wooded heights. Pine forest arrived in Scotland following the Late Glacial period around 7,000 BCE and formed the westernmost outpost of the Boreal Forest in Europe.
It is estimated to have reached a maximum coverage around 5,000 BCE. Then as the climate became wetter and windier the forest reduced significantly by 2,000 BCE and from this time onwards human intervention reduced the forest to its current extent.
The remanants of the ancient forest are preserved in the peat and the bogs of the Cairngorms. You can often come across tree stumps and logs exposed in stream beds, or by wind, that are thousands of years old.