The aims of this study were to assess the effectiveness of using PRA methods in the context of rural development forestry in Scotland, and to investigate the potential for using PRA techniques in natural resource management in the region in the future. The fieldwork was carried out in four villages in rural areas of Scotland: Borve in the Isle of Skye; Tomintoul in the north-east; Laggan in the Central Highland region; and Carsphairn in the south-west. In the main part of the study PRA methodology is discussed and the four case studies and their findings are presented. The advantages and disadvantages of using PRA methods are also assessed. The study concludes that PRA can work in Scotland, and has the potential to play a useful role in promoting local participation and empowering people to take more control over situations which affect their lives.