What we’re doing
Knoydart is a beautiful and spectacular landscape in one of the most remote parts of Scotland. However, centuries of burning and over-grazing by sheep and deer have damaged the habitat here. This followed population clearances in the mid-1800s when private landowners forced the local people to leave to make way for sheep farming.
Since purchasing Li and Coire Dhorrcail in 1987, we’ve planted native tree species and reduced deer numbers (find out more about our deer management and the West Knoydart Deer Management Group). Now we’re starting to see the natural regeneration of birch, oak, hazel, rowan, Scots pine and other tree species.
Native wildlife has returned with the trees. This includes pine marten, roe deer, bats and many types of woodland birds. There are also otters, foxes, water voles, buzzards and different types of eagle. As the years go by, we hope to see more biodiversity as the woodland expands.
The Trust also maintains the old stalkers path into the Coire Dhorrcail. Our dedicated volunteers help us with our work. They do path repairs, remove redundant fencing, plant trees and clear invasive species.
In June 2015 the Trust's work at Li and Coire Dhorrcail was recognised by the Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards as 'an exemplar of sustainable land management.'
About the land
- At 1,020 metres, Ladhar Bheinn is the highest mountain on Knoydart and a popular destination for walkers.
- Around 1,000 people lived on the peninsula in 1795. Today, there are fewer than 100.
- Threats by the Ministry of Defence to buy Knoydart in 1983 for use as a military training area prompted the founding of the John Muir Trust. The fledgling organisation campaigned to save the area from military use.
- The rich diversity of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) here represents nearly a third of the total species found in Britain.
Wild Woods Appeal
Our new Wild Woods programme is putting a spotlight on expanding woodlands in all the wild places we care for, starting with two of the wildest — planting and protecting 50,000 trees on Li and Coire Dhorrcail on Knoydart, and the Strathaird Peninsula on Skye. Find out more