The battlefield is a living landscape, changing with each generation. At the time of the battle, there were no large trees on the battlefield. The moor was mostly used for farming. Without the trees, you could see all the way down to the Moray Firth.

In the 19th century, pine trees were planted on the battlefield by Duncan Forbes. Over time, trees spread across the battlefield and concern was raised over its conservation, including by the Gaelic Society of Inverness.

Throughout the 1920s, the Gaelic Society of Inverness funded the conservation of the memorial cairn and graves. It was through their efforts that the National Trust for Scotland would begin their guardianship of the battlefield in the 1930s.

After the Second World War, trees were planted over much of the battlefield by the then Forestry Commission. These trees have been removed as part of our work to return the battlefield to its 1746 appearance.

Today when you look beyond the battlefield, you can see houses through the trees. In recent years, another battle has been brewing at Culloden. Imagine how it would feel if the battlefield were overlooked by houses? Would it have the same sense of place?

The National Trust for Scotland looks after under half of the known battlefield. The rest is held by several different owners; each of these owners has historically made minimal developments in this area. However, in the past 20 years the population of Inverness and the surrounding area has begun to increase. As the city grows, we are faced with more and more plans for insensitive new developments.

Part of being in a living landscape such as Culloden Battlefield means that we understand that some development will need to take place, to support growth in the local area. Working alongside other conservation organisations and Highland Council (the local planning authority), we are doing what we can to ensure that Culloden Battlefield remains accessible for future generations.

If you would like to learn more about how we are protecting the battlefield, please see our Culloden 300 report.

To help us continue protecting the battlefield in the future, please consider donating to Culloden’s Fighting Fund.