In the Tayside region of Scotland, red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) exists both as extensive plantations of clonally propagated cultivars, and as wild populations that inhabit both the cultivated areas and uncultivated uplands to the north. In order to explore the genetic diversity of the wild populations and their degree of similarity to the plantation clones, individual plants in wild populations were sampled from four distinct sites along a 25-km transect northwards from the area of cultivation. Some 45 individuals and the commercial cv. Glen Clova were examined using six RAPD primers giving a total of 63 variable bands. Some identical banding patterns were observed, suggesting vegetative growth up to 20 m, but populations consisted mainly of genetically distinct individuals. Similarity matrices based on the marker bands showed, without exception, that plants were more similar within a site than between sites. None of the populations was closely related to Glen Clova. Although the most northerly site had the largest proportion of rare bands, there was no general trend between within-site diversity, or similarity to the cultivar, and position on the north-south line. All four sites had unique bands and bands not displayed by the cultivar. However, the genetic diversity of a site appeared to increase as the extent of the sampled area increased, implying that the genetic variation was spatially dependent. For example, maximum and minimum similarities were 100 and 80%, respectively, at interplant distances of 2 m; 100 and 60% at distances of 20 m; 85 and 55% at 200 m; and 70 and 40% at 20 km.