Scotland’s Atlantic salmon, the King of Fish, is threatened like never before. The plight of this magnificent creature so symbolic of pristine, cascading rivers, is shaped by many complex factors, but hidden within Scotland’s majestic hills and glens, lies a key element to their survival.

The left of the image above mirrors the bare, depleted landscapes through which many of Scotland’s once life-rich rivers flow. On the right, a glimpse of what our river catchments could look like - a vibrant, wooded living system  Against the backdrop of a changing climate, water temperatures are rising, and the salmon, so dependent on clean, cold water, are crying out for the trees and complex vegetation that once shaded and fed them.

The salmon needs the forest. The forest needs the salmon. And Scotland needs them both.


There are salmon, not only in the rivers but also in the trees. And in the soil that feeds the trees. And in the predators, scavengers and even herbivores that live among the trees. The King of Fish is not only the ultimate angler’s prize, but a key building block in a vibrant forest ecosystem and all the life it supports.

But in return, salmon need the support of a rich and diverse landscape that stretches far beyond the banks of the river. Over many centuries the loss of Scotland’s natural woodlands and much of the wildlife that shaped them, has profoundly changed our rivers and their ability to support the huge salmon runs that once flourished.


Riverwoods is a multimedia campaign that shines a light on the perilous state of Scotland’s salmon and the degraded river catchments we have come to accept as normal.

We’ve brought together a group of expert scientists, writers and filmmakers to tell a compelling story that reveals the inextricable relationship between salmon, trees and countless other organisms that create the dynamic natural processes on which Scotland’s rivers depend. Crucially, Riverwoods tells a story of hope; of how these fractured connections are gradually being repaired through the foresight and positive actions of many different people.

The health of our rivers and the life within them, is directly dependent on the landscapes through which they flow.