I refer to your article (19 October) on the efforts of Trees for Life to plant pine trees in the Highlands.
Having been involved in the planting of hundreds of thousands of native Scots pines over the past 50 years, I support planting in the presently treeless areas of former forest.
But this cannot be classed as “restoring Scotland’s ancient Caledonian Forest” as, by definition, that title applies only to authenticated remnants which have descended from one generation to another by natural means (ie not planted) since initial formation 9,000 years ago.
Hence these remnants can be expanded and restored only by natural regeneration, not planting.
One cannot restore a natural forest by unnatural intervention. The planting programmes of Trees for Life are establishing new native pinewoods, not restroring ancient Caledonian Forest and, if carried out in the vicinity of Old Caledonian Forest, will damage the ecological and historical integrity of the ancient woodland.