owns and manages Balfour Forest to promote the common
good of the inhabitants of Birse parish and deliver
wider public benefits. The Forest covers 241 hectares
in the north west of the parish (map)
and was purchased by BCT on behalf of the community in
aim is to manage and develop the Forest as a native
pinewood that has varied habitats and high amenity,
while also producing a sustainable supply of timber
that contributes financially to other activities
carried out by BCT on behalf of the local community.
has leased the management of the Forest to its wholly
owned subsidiary, the Birse
Trading Company or BTCo since BCT became the owner
in 2010. BTCo is responsible for implementing
BCT’s long term, Forestry Commission Scotland
Plan for Balfour Forest 2011-30. Important parts of
the Plan are:
an adequate level of deer control to encourage natural
the individually protected planted broadleaves until
out some further planting in areas clear felled by the
the Coffin (or Church) Road and opening up the Foggage
a wider network of informal paths within the Forest.
out a range of other habitat and amenity
the land that now makes up Balfour Forest was parts of
three properties separated by the Coffin Road and by
the old dyke that runs for 1.5 kms through the Forest.
By the 1840s, all the land in Balfour Forest was part
of Balfour Estate owned by the Cochrans (see History
in Birse). In 1956, the Cochrans sold the part of
the Estate now known as Balfour Forest to the Secretary
of State for Scotland for planting up by the Forestry
Commission. BCT then became the next owner in 2010.