The Wild Heart

Reviving the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland

Borders Forest Trust now owns three remarkable areas of land in the Southern Uplands totalling over 31 square kilometres.  Together we think of them as the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland.  They are three distinct sites sharing certain qualities.  All are significant uplands, where the natural ecology has been degraded by centuries of grazing on fragile hill land.

Carrifran, Corehead and Talla & Gameshope, together over 3,000 hectares, provide woodland and wild land areas for the Reviving the Wild Heart of Southern Scotland initiative, Borders Forest Trust’s ambitious long term landscape scale programme.   Together they also make up approximately ¼ of an area which SNH has named as one of only two main ‘wild’ areas in Southern Scotland.

Borders Forest Trust: reviving the ‘Wild Heart’ of Southern Scotland. from Richard Elliott Aerial Filming on Vimeo.

Borders Forest Trust is working with all three sites to achieve healthy, natural ecosystems that have not been seen, on this landscape scale, in Southern Scotland for centuries.


Biodiversity. So many species are struggling due to lack of habitat.  With healthy habitats these plant and animal communities will revive.

People deserve wildness.  Healthy wildness is abundant, not empty.  Our vision of reviving the Wild Heart, means that one day in the not too distant future, people will once again be able to walk all day in wild land.

Borders Forest Trust also works on other land across the Borders and in Dumfriesshire.  In some cases this is with private landowners interested in making their own contribution to improved native woodlands.  Sometimes local schools or Community Woodlands want advice on woodland management or other issues.  Around half the trees BFT has planted in the past 19 years have been on land we do not own.  Partnership working has doubled the impact of our work and extended our vision.