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Corrieshalloch Gorge NNR - looking into the gorge

Corrieshalloch Gorge NNR

One of the natural wonders of the Highlands

The sheer-sided spectacle of Corrieshalloch Gorge carries the River Droma down a series of thundering falls nearly 100 metres towards Strath More. This extraordinary natural feature is relatively easy to reach from the road. The heart-stopping highlight of any visit is to cross the gorge by the swaying suspension bridge.

The National Trust for Scotland manage Corrieshalloch Gorge NNR. Find out more:

Silver Birch trees and small lochan, Craigellachie NNR.  :copyright:Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Craigellachie NNR

A peaceful oasis

A perfect destination for a stroll from Aviemore, the woodland combines the gentle motion of silver birch trees with the frantic activity of countless insects. The crags loom above the woodland like sleeping grey giants and are home to peregrine falcons.

NatureScot manages Craigellachie NNR . Find out more:

The path in Coire Ardair, Creag Meagaidh NNR, East Highland Area.  ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Creag Meagaidh NNR

A natural haven

Creag Meagaidh feels like the Highlands compressed into one nature reserve. Golden eagle and peregrine falcon can be seen hunting the slopes, while dotterel and ptarmigan breed on the high tops. On the lower slopes, you’ll see black grouse and on the upper slopes ring ouzel. Foxes, pine martens, badgers, otters and red and roe deer are all found here. As the habitats recover, more native species return and the balance of nature is restored.

NatureScot manages Creag Meagaidh NNR. Find out more:

Heather growing on a raised bog at Flanders Moss NNR. Argyll and Stirling Area. ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Flanders Moss NNR

The watery land of the ancients

From a distance you can see the perfectly formed domes of peat as they rise from the surroundings. Close up, squelchy mats of sphagnum moss carpet Flanders Moss with their swirling colours. You might catch adders and lizards basking in the sunshine. Listen out for the distinctive calls of snipe and stonechat.

NatureScot manages Flanders Moss NNR. Find out more:

Dubh lochans on the blanket bog at Forsinard Flows National Nature Reserve.  :copyright:Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Forsinard Flows NNR

A vast expanse of peatlands, sheltered straths and mountains

Set in the remote open landscape of Caithness and Sutherland, Forsinard Flows is a breathtaking expanse of bog blanketing the land. Thousands of pools make a perfect home for a myriad of insects, frogs, lizards, red deer and birds normally at home in tundra. Listen out for the piping calls of greenshank or the haunting cries of red-throated diver. In summer, look for the small but beautiful plants – such as carnivorous sundews – that are wonderfully adapted to such difficult conditions.

RSPB Scotland manages Forsinard Flows NNR. Find out more:

Evening light on the sand dunes at Sands of Forvie NNR, Grampian Area.  ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Forvie NNR

Shifting sands and seabirds

The beauty of the sand dunes is complemented by the call of eider ducks wafting across the Ythan Estuary. Layers of history have come and gone with the constant shifting of the dunes. Watch the acrobatics of diving terns or the determined stabbing of wading oystercatchers with their colourful beaks.

NatureScot manages Forvie NNR. Find out more:

Moss covered boulders at Glasdrum NNR. ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Glasdrum Wood NNR

Wild woodland

Ash and oak dominate the woodland at Glasdrum, their trunks softened by a thick coat of mosses and lichens. Where sunlight penetrates between the trees, smaller flowering plants take hold and provide a rich larder for butterflies like the rare chequered skipper. Otters are known to slip cautiously between the woodland and the clear waters of Loch Creran.

NatureScot manages Glasdrum Wood NNR. Find out more:

Glen Affric NNR. Autumn 2012  :copyright:Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Glen Affric NNR

A magical place

Glen Affric is a magical mix of native pinewoods, glistening lochs and haunting moorland. You can wander among the pine trees accompanied by the chirpy calls of woodland birds. Elsewhere you might encounter ospreys, secretive otters or red- and black-throated divers. Come in autumn and you’ll be inspired by the mosaic of colour and the echoing roar of rutting red deer stags.

Forest Land Scotland manage Glen Affric NNR. Find out more:

Multi stemmed veteran oak tree (coppiced) at Glen Nant NNR, Argyll...:copyright:Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Glen Nant NNR

Woodland of tranquillity

A rich woodland of native trees blankets the slopes of Glen Nant. Oak, ash, alder and birch each dominate in different parts of the reserve, responding to changes in conditions that we can hardly detect. The woodland provided charcoal for an iron furnace in the past. But now the trees are left to thrive – providing homes for colourful lichens.

Forest Land Scotland manages Glen Nant NNR. Find out more:

Glen Roy NNR

Glen Roy NNR

Echoes of ice

The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy slash through the landscape in their straight, precise lines. It’s easy to see why this leftover of glaciation baffled scientists for so long. Below you, the River Roy splashes down its rocky course, surrounded by a narrow strip of woodland. Listen for buzzards mewing overhead.

NatureScot manages Glen Roy NNR. Find out more: