The Old Oak Forest
Bute Community Forest incorporates part of the old Atlantic Rain Forest and the best example of this is the extensive old oak forest above the Balkanailly Burn. A designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the old oak woodland is a mature woodland home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, from lichens and mosses to butterflies, birds and rare wood ants.
Take the short walk from Rhubodach Ferry across farmland to the Balkanailly Burn bridge and then take one of the two marked paths up through the Old Oak Forest. Take the left hand path up alongside the Balkanailly Burn past ancient oaks and on to the Balkanailly settlement, or take the right hand path that meanders through the oaks and through the small plantation area until it too reaches the Balkanailly settlement.
Over the years, deer have grazed at ground level and the understorey is perhaps not as rich and diverse as it could be. Those involved with the Bute Community Forest are conscious of this and are actively seeking to manage the Old Oak Forest to allow new growth and to preserve the Atlantic Rainforest for future generations.