Modern plantations have been a feature of Scotland's landscapes since the establishment of the nation's Forestry Commission in 1919. Some have their origins in private estate plantings of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as those of the Dukes of Atholl who concentrated on the creation of extensive plantations of larch.
Densely planted, single age, coniferous species, within clearly defined straight boundaries, with regular, linear firebreaks, are characteristic of commercial forestry. However, some plantations are now being restructured, leaving larger clearings and encouraging the planting of native species. Since 1989 woodland plantings have become increasingly common, with sinuous edges and more open spaces.
This densely planted coniferous plantation at Harburnhead Hill in West Lothian displays the typical straight edges of such plantings. While plantations are noted on current OS maps, the full extent of privately and publicly owned forestry is recorded in the Forestry Commission's digital database.