City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

"Tree Spirit" Creature Coming To Streets of Edinburgh

By edg - Posted on 22 November 2013

Ghillie Dhu creature

He (or should that be "she") looks like someone who has had an unfortunate accident with a leaf-blower and a tub of glue. Or perhaps it's a character from a horror movie? But the Forestry Commission's answer to Sasquatch comes with a serious and benign mission next week: to get you to vote for Scotland's national tree.

The leafy Ghillie Dhu, the creation of artists Ailie Rutherford and Bob Moyler, will be surprising shoppers and passers-by in the capital as part of the on-going consultation to choose a national tree for Scotland.

“The Ghillie Dhu is a magical and mysterious guardian spirit of the trees," says James McDougall of Forestry Commission Scotland. "He’s full of surprises as sometimes he’s happy to stay still and sometimes he likes to shuffle around slowly. He’s very friendly though and really enjoys getting his photo taken." 

The Ghillie Dhu will be in Princes Street Gardens on Monday 25th November (11:30 to 2pm) and at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh between 2.30pm to 4pm.).

“We’ve enlisted his help during National Tree Week to get the message out that everyone has an opportunity to choose a tree for Scotland,” says McDougall.

People can vote for their favourite tree up until 3 December so Forestry Commission Scotland is encouraging everyone to make their views known as quickly as possible.

You can register your choice either by email at or register through

The Commission is also encouraging the public to take photos with the Ghillie Dhu and to post these on their Facebook page: