Craigellachie National Nature Reserve (NNR), in the Cairngorms National Park, is one of the finest examples of upland birch woodland habitat and its invertebrates – particularly moths – and, of course, the peregrines, are a mainstay. Now visitors can watch the pair of peregrines live in their eyrie through a webcam as part of an exciting new interpretive display in Aviemore Youth Hostel.
Here at the visitor hub visitors of all ages can find out more about the amazing riches Craigellachie has to offer throughout the year before setting out on one of four trails to discover them for themselves. And children will have fun using the attractively-designed interactives to learn about some of the surprising species you might spot in the reserve.
The trails range from the 15 minute Lochan Trail, a stroll around Loch Puladdern, to the Viewpoint Trail, a 2 ½ hour climb up through woodland to the open hill above. So whatever your level of fitness and there’s one for you.
In the past visitors have had difficulties finding their way to the NNR so we have now installed new and improved signs at the south end of Grampian Road at the entrance track to the youth hostel. Peter Duncan, SNH’s reserves manager for the area, said: “We have known for some time that finding Craigellachie is a bit of a challenge for visitors. The reserve boasts an array of wildlife and precious habitats, which we would like more people to enjoy.
“To showcase the attractions the NNR has to offer we struck up a partnership with SYHA to install a small interpretive display and signage to guide visitors to the tunnel entrance and on to the reserve. And for the more energetic, the viewpoint path allows those who make it to the top a spectacular vista of the Cairngorms and you can see why you are also in a National Park.”
Keith Legge, CEO of SYHA said: “Aviemore is one of our most popular youth hostels, with guests coming to enjoy all the activities that are on offer in the National Park. It is exciting for us to be part of this project with SNH, displaying live footage of peregrines nesting in the cliff above along with more information about the birchwood habitat and other wildlife.
“Our guests will benefit from finding out more about this special place, along with visitors to the NNR, who will also be able to buy refreshments at the youth hostel.”
Getting to Aviemore Youth Hostel and Craigellachie NNR
The reserve sits west of Aviemore and on the other side of the A9 Inverness-Perth road. Its entrance is close to Aviemore Youth Hostel at the town’s southern end which has directional signs from the road leading south out of Aviemore.
Visitors can take the youth hostel track, go past a caravan park, and enter the reserve via a subway under the A9. An access track through this tunnel then leads into Craigellachie proper.
Aviemore Youth Hostel run by SYHA Hostelling Scotland (SYHA)
Discover more about Craigellachie NNR before your visit.