Mountains and wild uplands cover two thirds of Scotland. Each of our distinct mountain areas has its own special character – from the shattered gabbro of the Skye Cuillin to Sutherland sentinels like Suilven and Ben Loyal. This booklet explains the ancient foundations of our mountain landscapes – and the wildlife they support today.
Our peaks may seem small next to the Alps or Himalayas, but they have much in common with summits in the Pyrenees and Norway. Winter transforms our mountains and snowbeds linger a long time in the shadowy recesses of Ben Nevis and the Cairngorms.
Alpine plants seen nowhere else in Scotland can find a home at these high altitudes. Other plants, animals and habitats found in our mountains are unique to Scotland or rare elsewhere in the world. Mountain hare, dotterel and snowbunting may be spotted in our mountain landscapes, the most extensive near-natural areas in all of Britain.
Read our booklet to appreciate the majesty of these living landscapes.
Disclaimer: Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has changed its name to NatureScot as of the 24th August 2020.
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