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Episode 5

Episode 5 of 5

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 22 November 2010

Take a walk though any landscape in Scotland, and there's a story to be uncovered - of human lives, and the impact we've had on the land around us. Join Iain Stewart as he walks through some of Scotland's most intriguing landscapes, guided by people who live and work in them, to uncover tales of how we have exploited, celebrated and enjoyed Scotland's forests, hills, lochs, glens and shores.

In this programme, Iain visits Culbin Forest in Moray. The area famous is for its history - it was once a prosperous faming estate, buried by a great sandstorm in the 17th century. For 200 years after, Culbin was Scotland's Saraha - miles of sand that moved across the land. The sand was stabilised by the Forestry Commission in the mid 20th century. From the 1930s onwards, they planted Culbin Forest, which today is a vast area of green, and a unique habitat: because it's man made, there are plants and animals there in combinations you don't find anywhere else. Between the forest and sea is an area of saltmarsh, winter home to thousands of birds; constantly changing and being shaped by coastal processes. And the impact of climate and storms is not over - every year, the Culbin sandbar is washed westwards, and as sea levels rise and storms increase, the fragile habitats of Culbin could be damaged again.

  • Discover the Culbin Forest for yourself

    Discover the Culbin Forest for yourself

    Download the audio walk and our printable guide and follow the route taken by Iain Stewart.

    1: The Gut (start and finish)
    2: Forest entry
    3: Hill 99 viewpoint
    4: Junction 13

    A walk through Culbin Forest and sands, exploring a landscape shaped by natural processes, climate change, and human intervention, and telling the story of its amazing transformation from farmland, to desert, to forest - all in the space of 300 years.

    Distance: 5-6km (but please note it is a 30-40 min walk to the start point from the nearest car park).

    Accessibility: The route is on good paths within the forest, although the section along the shore is likely to be wet and muddy.

    Map reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2010. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100019855

    Printable guide (PDF) 2MB
  • Culbin Sands Photo Gallery

    Culbin Sands Photo Gallery

    See photos from Culbin Sands
  • Scotland's Landscape

    Scotland's Landscape

    Whitelee Windfarm is just one of the climate-themed landscapes featured on the Scotland's Landscape site, where you can explore locations across the nation through rephotography and clips from Radio Scotland and BBC Scotland programmes.

    Scotland's Landscape: Whitelee


Free download

  1. Image for Walking Through Landscape

    Walking Through Landscape

    Take a walk through Scotland's most intriguing landscapes. With Iain Stewart.

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