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‘No rivalry but different’
Forestry Memories
 Open Document 
No: 990   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 2010
‘No rivalry but different’

The third in a series of Touchwood History publications (2010) this one highlighting the story of forestry in the Glenmore and Rothiemurchus areas in the 20th century written by Mairi Stewart and published by the Forestry Commission.

The PDF which can be accessed above shows the inside front page and lists the topics covered.

Booklets can be purchased from Forestry Commission Publications www.forestry.gov.uk/publications under their miscellaneous category and stock code FCMS117 (ISBN 978-0 -85538-797-6) £5.

The foreword in the booklet is written by Hugh Insley (former Chief Executive of Forest Enterprise, Scotland) and is copied below:

‘It is now widely recognised that native woodlands are vitally important for the conservation of biodiversity and need to be preserved and sustained. Scotland has all too few such forests - but among them are the native pinewoods of Strathspey including Glenmore and Rothiemurchus.

All too often we fail to recognise and record the importance and future historical interest of our current day to day activities and decisions. This project seeks to correct that by capturing the anecdotal record of the lives of those who have depended upon this forest area over the past 100 years - a period when the forests and landscape of Strathspey have seen more change than at any other time in their recent history.

The testimonies gathered here paint a picture of how the 20th century has treated this part of Scotland - from the aftermath of the Great War to the impact of the Second World War, from the days of rural isolation to the years of tourist influx.

There are fascinating stories of the families and workers who have managed and maintained the Rothiemurchus estate in often difficult and occasionally harsh conditions.

And - in sharp relief - there are stories that show how the focus of the Forestry Commission in Glenmore has shifted over the years in response to changes in Government forestry policy. The original imperative of timber production at all costs driven by the two World Wars gradually gave way to a planned zoning of Glenmore ranging from conservation to timber production areas. Finally in the early 21st century this view has matured to a realisation that such areas are too rare and important for biodiversity and the plan now is to restore the whole area to native Caledonian pinewood once more.

This collection of memories, anecdotes, experiences and observations offer us a glimpse into the lives of the people of Strathspey who depended on and moulded these forests into what they are today, one of the jewels of the Highlands.’

Hugh Insley


Other Touchwood History booklets available at the time of writing are:


‘The smell of the rosin, noise of the saw’ - the story of forestry in Mid Argyll in the 20th Century (See Forestry Memories picture No 988)

‘The forest is a beautiful place to be’ - the story of forestry in The Great Glen in the 20th Century. (See Forestry Memories picture No 989)


‘The forgotten forest’ – the story of Whitelee Forest in the 20th Century. (See Forestry Memories picture No 991)
Picture added on 04 September 2011
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