Human activities have been the major cause of the reduction of Scotland's Caledonian Forest to its present day figure of just 1% of its original extent. The history of deforestation in the Scottish Highlands is long, complex and shrouded in mystery. Through the centuries, trees were felled for timber, fuel and to make way for agriculture, while grazing of domestic livestock severely limited the scope for regeneration, forcing the forest into smaller, fragmented pockets.
In Arthurian lore and early literature, the forest is the site of one of King Arthur's Twelve Battles, in which the battle is called Cat Coit Celidon
The ‘Stay Wild’ project gives HAGGiS travellers the opportunity to help Trees for Life achieve their goal of re-establishing 600 square miles of self-sustaining, wild, Caledonian Forest.
Stay Wild has raised thousands of pounds in support of the work Trees for Life undertake and HAGGiS travellers have planted hundreds of trees in the dedicated 'HAGGiS Grove'.
Through the Stay Wild program, HAGGiS is offering travellers the chance to sponsor, or plant their tree. The trees are planted in a special HAGGiS Grove set-aside especially for HAGGiS travellers.
Many HAGGiS trips include meeting with a ranger in the forest and working with them to clear invasive species, repair infrastructure or plant trees in the HAGGiS Grove. Travellers who do not visit the forest as part of their trip can dedicate a tree, which allows them to have a tree planted in the HAGGiS Grove by Trees for Life on their behalf.