Craigellachie NNR - About the reserve

Craigellachie is managed to provide a range of habitats for plants and wildlife.




Managing habitats and inspiring people

Craigellachie NNR is a woodland reserve close to the community of Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands. It is one of nine NNRs within the Cairngorms National Park. Craigellachie is one of the largest remaining birch woodlands in Strathspey. The varied habitats in the reserve also include open glades, heaths and freshwater. These support a range of wildlife.

Craigellachie NNR is one of six NatureScot NNRs where repeat fixed point photography is being used to map changes to natural habitats.  This involves re-taking historical photos at the same location, and at the same time of year, which can reveal visual changes of the natural and cultural landscape over several years or decades. This story map illustrates the changes that have happened.

Woodland habitat

We undertake limited management within the reserve. Our priority is to keep the woodlands in good condition and encourage the woods to spread further up the hill. Good woodland condition means that there are trees of different ages, including new saplings, and a mixed shrub and ground layer.

On the whole, we leave the woodland to natural processes, although we do some small-scale habitat work. We also keep herbivore numbers to sustainable levels to manage grazing impacts on the woodland.

Engaging people with nature

We want visiting the reserve to be an opportunity to experience nature, walk and watch wildlife. We see the reserve as a key nature-based visitor attraction close to Aviemore.

We will continue to maintain the network of trails, signage and interpretation. We will work with the Scottish Youth Hostel Association and provide information about the reserve at Aviemore Youth Hostel. This will include live camera links to the peregrine nest if the birds breed.

Management planning

We plan our management carefully to make sure that the special qualities of the reserve thrive. In this way it will always give visitors an enjoyable experience and engage people with nature.

We produce 10-year management plans for our reserves.

  • The Reserve Story – an introduction to the natural heritage, historical interest, past management and designations which protect the reserve.

Protected areas

Craigellachie NNR overlaps with one protected area:

Find out more about these protected areas and their designated features by searching the map:

Find out more on

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