There’s an abundance of wildlife for nature lovers to spot at Mar Lodge Estate. There have been over 5,000 species recorded here, many of which are rare or endangered. 30% of the UK’s Red Listed birds breed on the estate including curlew, dotterel and merlin.

Along the rivers you might catch a glimpse of a dipper, common sandpiper, wagtail and, if you’re very lucky, an otter or salmon.

The beautiful ancient pinewoods are home to birds such as black grouse, treecreeper, crossbill and redstart as well as red squirrels, pine martens and the very rare narrow-headed ant.

There’s a huge variety of pinewood specialist fungi and lichen, including some rare species of toothed fungi (Sarcodon species) and the stump lichen Cladonia botrytis, as well as some rare pinewood specialist plants such as the delicate twinflower.

On the moors look out for red grouse, red deer, golden plover and meadow pipit. Keep your eyes to the sky for the chance of spotting birds of prey like golden eagle, hen harrier and merlin.

Up in the mountains you might be lucky enough to spot some creatures that have adapted to live in this harsh, cold, windswept landscape. Keep a look out for dotterel in the summer months – they travel all the way from Africa and the Middle East to breed on the high tops of Scotland’s mountains. In the winter months you might see snow bunting, ptarmigan and mountain hare, all of which change their colour to white in winter to help camouflage them against the snow.

Check out our wildlife spotter’s guide for Mar Lodge Estate, and see how many you can spot during your next visit:

Wildlife spotter’s guide: Mar Lodge Estate


Plants of the Pinewood

pdf (1.81 MB)

Download our Plants of the Pinewood leaflet.


Download our guide to the birds on Mar Lodge Estate and see what you can spot on your next visit.