Celebrating the natural beauty of Glencoe

National Trust for Scotland president Neil Oliver has visited Glencoe to recognise the site as Scotland’s newest National Nature Reserve.

Joined by local schoolchildren and the charity’s staff, he unveiled a plaque to celebrate Glencoe’s new status.

Neil also met with Derek Alexander, head of archaeological services, to hear about finds that had been made in recent digs around Glencoe.

NNRs are areas of land set aside to conserve important habitats and species and to give people the opportunity to enjoy and connect with nature.

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 is the eighth NNR that the organisation manages, including the UKs biggest, the Mar Lodge Estate on Deeside.

The glacier-carved slopes of the 5625.06 hectare Glencoe reserve boast eight Munros and a delicate ecosystem of birch woodland, moorland and peat bogs.

National Trust for Scotland chief executive Simon Skinner 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.

‘The love of Scotland is central to what we do and there’s no point doing any of this if we can’t share its wonder. Last month we announced a significant investment in the visitors centre at Glencoe, we are constantly maintaining the 60km of paths and the monitoring of birds, insects and plant life never stops.’

Neil, an archaeologist, author, TV presenter and president of the NTS, 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.’