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Ancient forest, high mountain, golden shore

Wildlife in Glenmore Forest Park

Important habitats

The Cairngorms National Park has some of the best wildlife habitats in Britain – and they’re big! Glenmore Forest Park is part of the largest area of native woodland in Britain, a huge area of forest that circles the mountains.

Heather covers the ground beside many of the trails, making a gorgeous purple carpet in late summer and autumn. Wee birds like Scottish crossbill and crested tit live among the trees: they depend on large areas of healthy Scots pine forest, and the Forest Park is one of the best places to see them.

Restoring native species

Although the woodland has been here for thousands of years, much of it has changed because of the long history of forestry in the glen. As we manage the forest for timber, we’re working to restore native species as much as possible. We also make sure there’s a range of different habitats, like wet, boggy places among the trees that are perfect for dragonflies and damselflies.

Wildlife viewing tips

The trails from Allt Mor are great if you want to see some of the glen’s wildlife, but right by the car park at the Glenmore Visitor Centre there are usually red squirrels scampering through the trees.

Down at Loch Morlich, ducks paddle past the shore and you can watch for osprey fishing in the clean water.

In Summer, you might see dragonflies and damselflies darting through the air along the trails from Hayfield car park.

Glenmore grouse watch

If you’re heading out of the Forest Park and up to Cairngorm Mountain, be sure to stop off at Glenmore Grouse Watch. This is an open viewing area at the far end of Coire na Ciste car park. Red grouse are the most common bird, but the viewing area overlooks a black grouse lek so you might be lucky! Our friends at RSPB run occasional early-morning guided events here in the spring.