About Cairngorms Nature

The words National Park are not dished out lightly – they signify a country’s best bits of the landscape and are recognised the world over. The Cairngorms National Park is one of the last wildernesses we have left in the UK. It is a place of sheer abundance having more high level mountain ground than anywhere else in Britain or Ireland, the largest Caledonian forest, some of the UK’s purest rivers and it also hosts 25 per cent of the UK’s threatened species.


© Mark Hamblin/2020VISION/CNPA

The Cairngorms National Park maybe a place of tremendous biodiversity but sadly even here biodiversity loss is taking place and immediate action is needed to halt the decline. Looking after the Park is not a job just for the rangers or land owners, every person who lives here or visits here has a part to play.

The challenges to conservation and biodiversity that the Park faces are very real. In order to maintain this jewel of global significance we all need to work together so that we can leave a rich legacy for future generations, which is what Cairngorms Nature is all about.

Cairngorms Nature was launched in 2013 and is all about bringing folk together who have a passion for nature, from the large organisations who are delivering conservation on the ground, to individuals who want to get involved and make a difference.


Photo credit: CNPA/C Milburn

Cairngorms Nature is delivering an ambitious agenda for nature conservation in the Cairngorms and after nearly two years, we’re starting to see some real signs of progress.

Over 800ha of native woodlands have been planted and more than 350ha of peatland restoration has taken place at 7 project sites across the Park. Some of the UK’s rarest species, such as twinflower and Scottish wildcat, have been targeted for innovative action and there are plans for re-naturalising extensive floodplains on the Dee and the Spey.

The Cairngorms is one of the best places in the UK to deliver landscape scale conservation.
There is an exciting scale of connected woodland expansion taking place from Abernethy, round the central Cairngorms to Mar Lodge and the early stages of a montane woodland project to restore one of the UK’s most impoverished habitats are being developed.

The Capercaillie is such an iconic bird and 80% of the UK’s population is here in the National Park, so what happens here is critical to the species’ future survival and expansion. A new project was launched last year called the Capercaillie Framework and its main goal is to better co-ordinate management for habitat, recreation and development to best effect for capercaillie conservation.


© Mark Hamblin/2020VISION/CNPA

The framework will be targeting woodland expansion, recreation management in key locations and will be co-ordinating work to mitigate potential impacts from development. The next phase of the work will involve working directly with land managers and communities to take forward the recommendations of the report, developing specific proposals at key locations.

Cairngorms Nature projects are creating opportunities for people to get involved in its management and contribute to looking after their natural heritage. Involvement in Cairngorms Nature ranges from everyday actions such as walking the dog on a lead during the ground nesting bird breeding season, to hours of dedicated recording by individuals and local groups to provide data for large co-ordinated schemes such as the Big Garden Bird Watch and the Scottish Mink Initiative.

It is because of the cumulative effect of people getting involved in this way that we have seen over 18,000 new plant records along with new invertebrate, plant and lichen species found in the National Park, and a return to the uplands of the water vole which has seen all old territories filled and new ones being created in areas where no water voles have been seen for decades.

Cairngorms Nature Festival

Cairngorms Nature is all about involving people and we will be celebrating nature with our park-wide Cairngorms Nature Festival on the 16th and 17th May 2015. It will be a weekend of celebration where people can get first-hand experience of some of the fantastic wildlife that lives and grows in the Cairngorms National Park.


Photo credit: CNPA/C Milburn

TV’s Nick Baker is our special guest and you can join him on a Bio-Blitz in Boat of Garten, or come and listen to him talk about his life as a wildlife presenter. There are over 70 events happening across the National Park over the weekend, from family fun events to hand on volunteering opportunities. Many of these events are totally free of charge, but some require booking in advance. Visit www.cairngorms.co.uk for the full programme.

Join us on Facebook.com/cairngormsnature and Twitter @CNPnature to keep up to date with all our projects, news and events.

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