Invereshie and Inshriach NNR - visiting the reserve leaflet
Welcome to Invereshie and Inshriach National Nature Reserve
The forests and hill ground wilderness of Invereshie and Inshriach are a glimpse of the Cairngorms National Park in miniature. A mountain path leads through close-growing woodland, dotted with boggy pools, to a wild, open land where grouse chortle and eagles hunt.
- NatureScot, Achantoul, Aviemore PH22 1QD.
- Tel: 01479 810 477
- Forestry and Land Scotland, Inverness, Tower Road, Smithton, Inverness IV2 7NL
This Reserve will take you on a journey from rich forest to scattered dwarf trees and bare hillside. It’s part of the huge area of native woodland that makes the Cairngorms unique, and shows just how the environment changes from glen to mountain top.
In summer, rare plants like twinflower blossom among the pine trees in the glen. On the hill, the Reserve’s character is shaped by intense cold, strong winds and heavy falls of snow. Trees that are stately giants lower down grow as small shrubs on the hillside. On Creag Fhiachlach, the wind and cold sculpt them into contorted shapes called krummholz, German for ‘twisted wood’.
In the highest parts of the Reserve, snow lies in sheltered gullies until April or May. It acts as an insulating blanket, protecting plants like the alpine lady fern that would otherwise be damaged by frost.
Just like the trees, the communities of birds and animals change with altitude and the seasons. In the glen, Scottish crossbills crack pine cones in the forest; on the mountain, ptarmigan and mountain hare shelter in the heather, changing colour from brown to white in winter to protect them from predators.
NatureScot and Forestry Commission Scotland own and manage the Reserve in partnership, working to conserve its range of habitats and the diverse plants and animals that depend on them. Many non-native trees have been removed from the plantation areas of forest, and a special project has restored the bog woodland, where insects breed in the forest pools. The mountain habitats are particularly sensitive to climate change, so the Reserve is also an important place for research. Scientists from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology are running a long-term project here as part of the Environmental Change Network, which involves monitoring environmental conditions as well as the variety of species on the Reserve.
Way to go
There are no waymarked trails on the Reserve, but a well-defined path leads for 6km / 3.7 miles from the car park by the Allt Ruadh (the red burn) to the summit of Sgor Gaoith at 1118m. If you don’t want such a long trip, a walk of just 30 minutes will give you a taste of how the Reserve changes from valley to open hill as well as superb views westwards over Glen Feshie to the Monadhliath hills beyond.
Need to know
Invereshie and Inshriach is particularly important for ground nesting birds. If they are disturbed they abandon their chicks and eggs, which are eaten by predators. Please avoid this by keeping dogs on a short lead or under close control from April to August. Please also avoid lighting fires – uncontrolled burning could destroy this special place.