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5 Sept 2018

Sharing Glencoe’s awesome nature

A group of people, including several young children, stand beside a plaque on an easel, with curtains either side. Behind them rise the mountains of Glencoe.
We’re celebrating Glencoe’s new status as a National Nature Reserve with events that bring people closer to nature.

The story of Glencoe may date back many thousands of years, but it’s Scotland’s newest National Nature Reserve. The status was awarded by Scottish Natural Heritage last year, recognising the area’s amazing mountain and upland environments, as well as its importance for nature.

Last month, Trust President Neil Oliver visited the site to unveil a plaque recognising the accolade.

He said: ‘Some of my happiest memories with my dad Pat were spent at Glencoe. That landscape is just part of me and my childhood.

‘Buzzards and golden eagles fly overhead, snow bunting and ptarmigan crest the high peaks and at your feet bog myrtle, cotton grass, butterwort, sundew and bladderwort thrive. Dig below that and you uncover the dark events of Glencoe’s past.’

“It’s a phenomenally rich environment and you can’t help but be affected by it. It’s a unique place of history, nature, and spectacle.”
Neil Oliver

Glencoe was one of the first places to come under the stewardship and protection of the National Trust for Scotland when it was acquired by the conservation charity in 1935. It has become the eighth NNR in our care, along with the UK’s largest NNR at Mar Lodge Estate on Deeside.

The glacier-carved slopes of the 5.6 hectare Glencoe reserve boast eight Munros and a delicate ecosystem of birch woodland, moorland and peat bogs.

Two walkers head off into the hills along a path in Glencoe. Purple heather grows beside the path.
Walkers come to Glencoe for its stunning scenery.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors flock to the glen to enjoy its incredible views, amazing wildlife and chilling history.

Trust rangers do a huge amount to give visitors a flavour of all Glencoe’s riches, with a varied event programme aimed at children and adults. The Nature Nippers group is one of the Trust’s most popular and takes children out into the environment. Land Rover safaris are really popular with visitors who’d like a better understanding of what can be seen in the glen. And, of course, there are routes for walkers of all levels of fitness and bravery to tackle too.

Trust Chief Executive Simon Skinner believes that Glencoe, and places like it, must be experienced and enjoyed by the public. He said: ‘The thing about National Nature Reserves is that there are two reasons for their designation. The first is to recognise the significance of the area on a national and international level, which can certainly be said for Glencoe.

‘The second is that people should be encouraged to visit – to find out for themselves what an incredible place it is; whether it’s the turbulent history, the extraordinary landscape or the wealth of flora and fauna that Glencoe is home to.’

It’s one of the objectives of Our Strategy for Protecting Scotland's Heritage 201823 to provide opportunities for everyone to experience and value Scotland’s heritage. Glencoe’s a great example of how our charity is working towards that.

With ambitious plans to refurbish the visitor centre facilities at Glencoe due to get underway later this year, the aim is that everyone who visits, even briefly, will get a sense of just how awesome this place is.

Explore Glencoe

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