Benmore Forest History 1925-1951
The file is courtesy of Glenbranter Forest office staff with particular thanks to Ian Adams who has stored these old files for many years.
This detailed history of Benmore Forest appears to have been penned in Jan 1952 mainly by Mr S M Petrie who was District Officer from 1946. There is a small section on Forest Research authored by MVE and AM (taken to be MV Edwards but AM?).
The gift by Harry G Younger to the Forestry Commission in 1925 of the 9044 acre estate, mansion house and policy gardens and an acquisition of a further 643 acres in 1945 from Mrs J A Dow composed the total area of the forest as Sept 1951. Unfortunately there is no mention of the actual numbers of Forest Worker Holdings (could be about three) or the actual numbers of workers. However there is mention of the recent building of eight Swedish Houses at Deer Park, two British Timber Houses in the courtyard in Benmore House and the acquisition of three small wooden houses at Uig and Rashfield from D and H Ferguson Limited, Timber Contractor, on the completion of their contract at Benmore in 1947.
Quite a large proportion of the history describes the quality of the acquired forest crops and the challenges of thinning them on the steep slopes. The nursery at Uig and some of the many experiments to maintain fertility and reduce weeding costs in such a wet climate are mentioned. The Forester Training School or the Apprentices’ Training School (as it was known then) located in Benmore mansion house had trained 327 forestry students at the date of writing. Please see attached PDF for full details.
The list of staff who served at the Forest, District and Division are noted below.
Conservators - A Watt, J E James.
Divisional Officers – J M Murray, O J Sangar, A H Gosling, J A B Macdonald, A Watt.
State Forest Officers – J E James, H V S Dier.
District Officers – J Hunter-Blair, J Fraser, A H Gosling, H Watson, S M Petrie.
Foresters – A Grant, R Donald, J Maclean, John Jackson.
Any stories of working on this forest would be very welcome.
Picture added on 29 July 2018 at 13:07