Dunnet forest lies to the south of Dunnet village adjacent to the A836 Thurso to John O'Groats road, just inland from the beautiful sands of Dunnet Bay. The land was purchased in 1954 by the Forestry Commission, when planting began as an experiment into silviculture on poor soils. This was driven by a need to replenish future timber crops after depletion for the second world war effort. The initial intention was to create a much larger forest right around the bay to Castletown, but this never came to fruition. The forest is part of the Dunnet Links SSSI; the forest owners, Scottish Natural Heritage, acquired the land from the Forestry Commission in 1984. The forest covers 104 hectares, around half of which has developed into mature forest, the remainder being a mosaic of open space, scattered trees and scrub woodland. A range of tree species was planted, but the forest is now dominated by sitka spruce and pines including lodgepole, corsican and mountain, with a few broadleaf species, such as sycamore.

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