CALEDONIAN WOOD – ANCIENT ROOTS

 

  All our Caledonian Wood, also known as Bogwood, is found in the Scottish Highlands, wholly or partly eroded out of the mountain peat bogs. From high up our glens and loch sides, we carry the wood back to the road over sometimes miles of rough ground, then clean, dry, and if appropriate, lightly sand and stain and finish in either Danish oil, wood wax or more usually leave it natural.

 

 

  The wood will commonly be Caledonian Pine (Scots Pine) or Birch and is several hundred to thousands of years old; the skeletons of our once widespread Great Wood of Caledon.  As a result of the harsh conditions and poor soils, the trees grew slowly, producing the very tight swirly grain you see in the wood today. As it lies exposed to the elements, it becomes bleached in the sun and weathers into these pleasing shapes; natural sculptures. Use your imagination, feel the wood, smell it, turn it in your hand; what can you see in the past?

 

 

 

 

 

THE GREAT WOOD OF CALEDON

 

  Little remains of our ancient native Caledonian pinewood. At one time the pines, mixed with other trees, chiefly birch, alder, rowan and willows with occasional aspen, hornbeam and holly on rocky ground, grew to an altitude of 700m. Climate change combined with more recent human pressures and overgrazing by livestock and deer led to the demise of the great wood.

 

 

  Only remnant stands of native pinewood can be found dotted throughout the Scottish Highlands. The big old trees, Granny Pines, up to 300 years old have an individuality and beauty unrivalled by modern plantations. The Great Wood of Caledon is a living part of our history; an ancient natural heritage and primeval landscape from which most of our country evolved. As Steven and Carlisle said in their classic publication, ‘The Native Pinewoods of Scotland’; ‘To stand in them is to feel the past.’

 

 

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