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26 Oct 2022

Why we love Ben Lawers NNR

Why we love Ben Lawers NNR


10 speakers: Helen; James; Eleanor; Andrew; Jane; Tim; 4 visitors

Hello. Welcome to Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve.
My name's Helen Cole and I'm the Property Manager and Senior Ranger here.
Ben Lawers is interesting because it's the first National Trust for Scotland property that was bought primarily for nature conservation.
We've got about 16 species of nationally rare vascular plants and flowering plants, but it's also an important site for what we call lower plants. So, that's things like mosses and liverworts and lichens.
The Ben Lawers massif comprises 6 Munros. Ben Lawers obviously is the highest, the 10th highest mountain in Scotland, and we were able to buy more land on the Meall nan Tarmachan ridge in 1996 by way of a public appeal.
So that’s our 7th Munro. In total, we have 4,700 hectares of hill ground to manage here.

I'm James. I am a Seasonal Ranger here at Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve.
I particularly love Ben Lawers just because I think up at the top of the hill, where we've done some habitat restoration work, you can see a landscape that's how a lot of Scotland should look or maybe would naturally have looked.
You're seeing a mountain that's covered in the wildflowers and the montane scrub
that we've restored there.
It’s something that's missing from a lot of Scotland. You get used to the mountain landscape being grouse moors and a lot of intensively sheep farmed areas, whereas out here, you've got trees, dwarf trees, wildflowers coming up and there's all the birds and invertebrates in them and it's just absolutely stunning to look at, a really incredible place.

I’m Andrew Warwick, one of the rangers for National Trust for Scotland at Ben Lawers.
I love Ben Lawers because it's just so unique as a mountain in Scotland.
It's incredibly fertile; the vegetation here, especially in the exclosure works; there's no comparison with it anywhere else.
Quite a large part of my job is involved enhancing that, through various bits of habitat restoration work, right up to montane willow scrub woodland, which is the rarest form of woodland in Britain. And we have probably the best-established and largest areas of that anywhere in Scotland.

I'm Eleanor Murray and I'm the Property Secretary for Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve.
I love the freedom of Ben Lawers.
I love being able to get out on the hill and go for a walk with my dog or my children.
I love the changing environment, seeing it through the seasons. It's beautiful in the autumn when the trees change colour.
I love seeing it all growing and seeing the exclosures and how different they are to the bare hillside.
For Beans it's a big playground. This is somewhere that she can run around and look for sticks and just have freedom to enjoy herself.

[Visitor 1]
My name is Georgia and I love Ben Lawers because it's got lots of wildlife.

[Visitor 2]
My name is Nathan.
I love Ben Lawers because of all the awesome views that you can get when you're on top of the hills.

My name’s Tim and I'm one of the Seasonal Rangers for Ben Lawers.
Day to day is quite varied. I do talk to a lot of the visitors that come through here, and look after the car park and maintain the paths that they use.
I love the Tarmachan Ridge. I love just being part of this landscape.
I do love the diversity of the visitors that come through and the diversity of our team; the crew that we work with have just been really excellent.
We have some really pioneering and inspiring people.

Hi, I'm Jane Watts.
I'm the Visitor Services Assistant and I work here at the Ben Lawers Nature Reserve.
I started work last year for the season, in the summer, and I've now come back for this season because I loved it so much.
I meet and greet people in the car park and make sure they’re happy going up the trails.
I love bringing my kids up and my grandkids as well; they have fun here too.

[Visitor 3]
I'm Felix and I love Ben Lawers because of all the blaeberries.
I like eating blaeberries because my tongue goes purple.

[Visitor 4]
I’m Olivia and the thing I love about Ben Lawers is all the hiding spots on the nature trail.

I love the variety of Ben Lawers.
It's a fantastic place to work. It’s a privilege to be able to work here actually.
The diversity of wildlife and plantlife here is amazing and the challenges associated with managing that never cease to keep you occupied. But it's also a great place for people to enjoy.
It’s just an amazing, amazing place to be.

From nationally rare plants to incredible views (and maybe even some purple tongues!), here are just some of the reasons that we love Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve.

Ben Lawers is a special place for the National Trust for Scotland as it was the first property we purchased (back in 1950) specifically for nature conservation reasons.

Our extensive habitat restoration work has protected many species of rare plants as well as birds and invertebrates.

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Please note that permission for drone flying was granted by the National Trust for Scotland. Please contact for recreational and commercial drone filming enquiries.

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