Autumnal color along the water in Morvern peninsula

Scotland's rainforest is in trouble

  • Only 2%

    of Scotland's woodland is rainforest
  • 100+ years

    for this rare habitat to recover
  • Over 70%

    of Scotland rainforest suffers from invasive species

Two people walking among the oak trees in Inversnaid

Scotland’s rainforest is one of our most precious habitats. It is as important as tropical rainforest but even rarer. This type of woodland is very scarce on a global level, and Scotland holds some of the best remaining sites in Europe, providing a refuge for some of the world’s most endangered bryophytes and lichens. Yet few people know it exists and fewer still know how globally significant it is.

These rich and varied rainforest habitats are also home to a range of birds, mammals and insects, including iconic red squirrels, pine martens, otters and elusive Scottish wildcats. Scarce and threatened birds, including spotted flycatchers, pied flycatchers and wood warblers – all of which are red - listed on the UK’s Birds of Conservation Concern - make their summer homes in the rainforest.

But Scotland’s rainforest is in trouble. As little as 30,000 hectares remain – a mere 2% of Scotland’s woodland cover and only one fifth of the area that has climatic conditions suitable for rainforest. If we don’t start taking serious and urgent action to support and protect our rainforest, we face the risk of losing this internationally important habitat completely. And the longer we wait, the harder it will become. Damage to this ancient habitat takes hundreds of years to repair. We only have a limited time to turn things around with conservation work for this globally important habitat or risk losing it entirely.

A pied flycatcher with nesting materials perched on a moss covered branch

One of the ways the RSPB is leading this restoration of the rainforest is on the Morvern peninsula on the far west coast of Scotland through a hugely ambitious project. Taking a landscape-scale approach, this project will clear invasive non-native plants, control grazing pressures, engage the local community, provide jobs, training and volunteer opportunities, promote the habitat as a visitor destination and secure the future of this magnificent Morvern rainforest.

An expansive view of mountains, water and woodland

You can help

Support our work to restore Scotland's rainforest and help the wildlife that call it home