Reforestation in Norway: showing what’s possible in Scotland and beyond Scotland and Norway suffered large-scale deforestation over centuries but over the last 100 years the trees have been returning to Norway. It could be happening in Scotland too Much of SW Norway was once deforested. Now it has more trees and more people than the Highlands of Scotland.
Rewilding Britain 20 Jan 2016. Incredibly, some people think that the reason there are no trees growing across great swathes of Scotland is that they can’t grow in these places – it’s too wet, it’s too windy, the soil is too thin. But they’re wrong. Look at the landscape in Scotland today and you’ll see a diverse mix of trees hanging on the edges of streams and gullies and rock faces. They’ve survived for centuries in extreme fringe locations where grazing mouths can’t reach them. ‘Southwest Norway has an overall population density higher than the Scottish Highlands. It has reforested, largely through natural regeneration, since the late 19th century’ The forests of Scotland could return – if deer numbers were reduced to a level the land can support, if land wasn’t burned to favour shooting birds, and if livestock was managed alongside woodland as it is in many other countries. Reforesting is a part of rewilding. Rewilding is about dedicating areas of land to nature, where nature decides the outcome. We can see what that might mean for Scotland by looking across the water to southwest Norway – an area almost identical to Scotland in climate and geology.