Creag Meagaidh NNR - About the reserve

Creag Meagaidh NNR is a huge upland reserve, home to an amazing range of delicate habitats.




Managing habitats and inspiring people

Creag Meagaidh NNR is a spectacular upland reserve. It covers nearly 4,000 hectares in the districts of Badenoch and Strathspey and Lochaber. Creag Meagaidh itself is a complex massif, with numerous mountain tops. An extensive high summit plateau is edged by a dramatic series of ice-carved corries and gullies.

A mosaic of habitats stretches from loch-side to summit plateau. The moss-heath carpeting the plateau is an important breeding ground for dotterel. The corries are home to unusual arctic–alpine plants – such as alpine speedwell and tufted saxifrage. On the steep slopes, there are patches of rare woolly willow. On the lower slopes, remnants of ancient woodland are rich in woodland flowers – such as grass of Parnassus

Habitat priorities

Our aim is to restore the natural sequence of habitats from loch shore to summit plateau. The focus of our management is to enhance this mosaic of habitats and species. The more robust these habitats are, the more resilient they will be to climate change.

Creag Meagaidh NNR is part of a wider ecological area, so we work with our neighbours on some aspects of management. One of our main tasks is to reduce impacts from herbivores by controlling numbers to achieve a sustainable grazing pressure. Other aspects of management include enhancing woodland diversity through planting and using cattle to reduce purple moor grass and restore areas of heath.

The reserve 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.

Engaging people with nature

At Creag Meagaidh NNR our aim is to raise awareness of and enthusiasm for nature. We want everyone visiting to leave inspired and with a better understanding of why we manage the reserve.

We will continue to welcome visitors by providing facilities, information and paths to explore the reserve. We will also provide opportunities for people to get involved through volunteering, student placements, rural skills training and demonstrations.

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. Find out more about how we manage Creag Meagaidh NNR:

  • The Management Plan – sets out our priorities and tasks for managing the reserve between 2017 and 2027.
  • The Reserve Story – an introduction to the natural heritage, historical interest, past management and designations which protect the reserve.

Protected areas

Creag Meagaidh NNR overlaps with several protected areas:

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

Find out more

Learn more about Scotland’s National Nature Reserves

Discover how protected areas safeguard our natural heritage.

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