Edderton Woods and Struy Woods

All RSFS events must be pre-booked due to COVID-19 restrictions. Any person not booked will not be permitted access.
11 08 2021 10:00
George Moore
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Registration ends at 11 08 2021 10:00


Hosted by RSFS Northern Region.

Rendezvous and car parking point is a short distance up a farm track. Turn in a short distance before entering Edderton village. The usual RSFS signs at this point.

Travelling on the A9 from either south or north, it is approx. 4 k’s from the junction of the A9 and the A 836, south end of the Dornoch bridge.

Morning visit to Edderton woods (hosts: Hugh Clarke & Cameron Ross, Crosscut Forestry) and afternoon visit to Struy woods restocking site  (host: Ian Imlack, Fountains Forestry).

Edderton Farm Woodlands


Edderton Farm and its woodland, on the southern shores of the Dornoch Firth in the parish of Edderton in Easter Ross, was owned by Mr Reay Clarke since 1950’s. At that time the farm was almost devoid of trees and the woodlands that exist on the farm now are unique in the sense that they were under the stewardship of Mr Clarke for over sixty years up to his death in 2017. It was he who started the planting in 1956 within the Edderton Burn Glen and continued the establishment of woodland up until 1998 resulting in the present woodland area of 90hectares which is now owned by members of his family.

There are very few woodlands in the country that have had such care and attention from the one individual over such a prolonged period and the detailed records of their development provide an valuable insight into the post WW2 afforestation era in the highlands of Scotland.

This approach to woodland management has been recognised by the Scotland’s Finest Woodland Awards with the Edderton Woodlands having twice won the Hunter Blair trophy for the Management of Small Woods in 1996 & 1999 and coming second in 2002.


The woodland areas have a generally northerly aspect and lie between 10m beside the A836 road and 180m on the Upper Hill of Edderton. The Edderton Burn Glen is a steep sided, melt water channel with a sheltered floor. The Hill of Edderton is mainly an exposed steep hillside which was formerly croft land and heather moorland.

Most of the soils where the woodlands occur are derived from Old Red Sandstone with brown earths occurring on the sides of the glen and peaty podsols on the hill. Some soil enrichment and improvement has occurred where areas of former agricultural land have been included in the woods such as on the former croft fields on the Hill of Edderton and small areas of arable land adjacent to the steep sides of the glen.

Rainfall is generally low at c32” per annum and the prevailing winds are south westerly.

Within the Edderton Burn Glen the Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir have grown well with the Sitka achieving Yield Class 20 and above. Most of the coniferous crop has been thinned twice and brashing has been carried out on some of the conifers and all of the broadleaves which have also grown well.  Despite some windblow this area of woodland has developed into an attractive mixed woodland environment with a wide range of species and age classes mixed in a fairly intimate manner which has the potential to be developed further through the introduction of a Low Impact Silvicultural System.

The crop on the Hill of Edderton was established during the 1980’s & 90’s and if an early example of woodlands established under the Farm Woodland Scheme introduced to encourage farmers into woodland management. It is mainly broadleaved woodland with Oak and Gean having been planted on the lower slopes with Birch, Ash, and Sycamore above this and Scots Pine and Birch on the higher ground.  

Dieback and check has been experienced on the Birch, especially where planted on thick heather, but in general the crop has established well and early thinning and formative pruning has been carried out with some areas ready for their next thin. 

Chalara (Ash Dieback) was first noted on the site in 2020.

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