Our Habitats & Nature
Bute Community Forest comprises three main areas: the Old Oak Forest; the mixed birch and alder Moss Wood; and the plantation area of spruce (mainly sitka) and larch. Covering 167 hectares in total, the Community Forest is home to a wide variety of habitats, flora and fauna.
Each part of the Forest offers something different. From the rare wood ant colonies near to the Balkanailly Settlement in the Old Oak Forest, to familiar species of tit and finch in the Moss Wood, the Forest is home to a rich and wide variety of nature. Look out for the white-tailed eagles along the coast (they nest in neighbouring Loch Striven) or the occasional golden eagle (seen at the north end visiting from the woods of Kilfinan) or the far more abundant buzzards of Bute (Buteo Buteo). Catch a glimpse of the shy otters that frequent the Forest coastlines. Or see one of the many butterflies, the speckled wood or the orange tip.
Everywhere you go in the Forest make sure you keep your eyes and ears open! In a 100 metre square area near the Moss Wood car parks at the start of May, our guide Roger from the Museum helped us identify well in excess of 30 wildflowers in flower – and this one of the less diverse areas of the Forest.
We are keen to know more about the nature and habitats of our Forest – if you are interested in helping us to know more – or have expertise you can offer – please contact us at [email protected] or our resident ecologist and woodland ranger Samuel Lindsay.