Ben Shieldaig Estate is a property of 1,539 hectares set in a unique and dramatic landscape perched on the very fringes of Scotland’s west coast in the Wester Ross National Scenic Area. The Woodland Trust completed the purchase of Ben Shieldaig in March 2019 thanks to the support of its members and a variety of funders and donations from around the UK.
Ben Shieldaig is 534m high. It drops away to the rocky shores of Ben Damph on the east and the lower reaches of Glen Shieldaig on the west. The mountain is home to a very special and extensive area of designated native woodland called Shieldaig Woods. This includes an area of ancient semi-natural birch woodland as well as a significant remnant of ancient Caledonian pinewood. The relationship between the mountain, the woodland, neighbouring lochs and the sea, means the estate is home to some remarkable and charismatic wildlife including nesting golden eagles, pine martens and red squirrels.
Our vision for the estate is a thriving and robust mosaic of native woodland, montane scrub and open habitats that link the sea to the sky and provide a healthy corridor for wildlife to move freely across a landscape where native woodland is expanding at scale. We aim to protect and expand the unique and valuable existing native woodland at Ben Shieldaig through a combination of natural regeneration, new native planting and effective deer management.
A local team, Malcolm Turner and Donnie Chisholm, are now working to take forward the management and development of the estate. Malcolm and Donnie will be working closely with the local community, colleagues and partners in the coming months to develop project and management plans and undertake important survey work to inform future management and monitor our progress. There will be regular engagement opportunities and consultation as plans develop. Updates and reports from our ongoing work will be available on this site.
Ben Shieldaig offers some fantastic walking opportunities and we encourage people to explore its myriad habitats in a responsible way. There are currently no formal footpaths through the woodlands, though there are various informal and non-waymarked paths to the summit. Most routes are steep and exposed. Walkers are welcome to use existing stiles to cross deer fences but do take care. This is a remote location and conditions on the hills can change rapidly. There is limited parking around the estate.
Ben Shieldaig offers us a rare opportunity to conserve an entire mountain and all its diverse ecosystems in one of the best known upland landscapes in the UK. Please get in touch on the details below if you’d like to find out more - we’d love your feedback.
MalcolmTurner@woodlandtrust.org.uk - 03437705873
DonnieChisholm@woodlandtrust.org.uk – 03437705847