Killiecrankie is such an amazing place – not only for its historical significance but also its natural history. The Trust’s ranger team carry out a wide variety of work, from conducting biological monitoring of the area to telling visitors about the site’s importance, as well as protecting and enhancing wildlife habitats.

Killiecrankie is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its semi-ancient woodland and fly assemblage. Our rangers have been working hard to improve the status of the woodland to allow regeneration of oak trees. Currently, the large population of beech trees throughout the wood is hampering the growth and dispersal of the oak as well as other plant species. We’re gradually removing the beech trees to reopen the woodland canopy, allowing light to reach the forest floor again and space for new species to grow. An essential part of the conservation work was the installation of the charcoal kiln in 2008. This has allowed us to process the felled beech into a product that we can sell, with all the money generated from this being invested into continuing the site’s conservation. Our charcoal can be purchased from the visitor centre or the Ell shop in Dunkeld. Other Trust sites including Ben Lomond and Brodick use charcoal kilns, but there it’s to help with the removal of invasive rhododendron species.

Processing the beech wood and emptying/refilling the charcoal kiln is a labour-intensive process that wouldn’t be achievable without our fantastic volunteers. Working with the kiln is often part of the programme for our conservation volunteers, Thistle Camps and junior rangers. We rely on volunteers for many maintenance tasks across our properties – from fencing to construction projects, invasive species removal to path work, as well as many more jobs. Find out how you could volunteer with the National Trust for Scotland.