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Image: Chris Gomersall
Abernethy is internationally famous for the breeding ospreys at Loch Garten. It also protects Britain's largest remaining area of native pinewood, home to several other rare species.
Other habitats include heather moorland, blanket bog and mountain plateaux. We manage these habitats to maintain their scenic and biological importance.
When standing amidst Abernethy forest - the largest remnant of ancient Caledonian pinewood in the UK - it doesn’t take a leap of imagination to see it as it was 8,000 years ago, when boreal forests covered most of Scotland’s landscape.
The Romans called this vast forest ‘the great wood of Caledon’.
The RSPB has an ambitious 200 year vision for the forest. We plan to restore the forest to the natural tree line (650 metres above sea level) expanding to the level of thousands of years ago.
To do this we will:
The upland areas of the reserve are home to other important species, including greenshanks, black grouse and a variety of bog flora and invertebrates.
We are managing the montane eco-system in order to protect this wildlife. In particular we are looking after the mire and boggy woodland by restoring and maintaining natural water tables.
We are conducting research into the requirements of key species of plants and animals, including capercaillies and Scottish crossbills. This will help us to protect them.
Up to 50,000 people visit the Osprey Centre each year, while many others visit the reserve for its scenery and walking. We are continuing to maintain all our visitor facilities and are developing a capercaillie-viewing facility to accompany our existing closed-circuit links for watching ospreys and other wildlife.
The reserve contributes greatly to the local community, generating important revenue and supporting many local jobs. We will continue to promote the Osprey Centre, and are developing green transport links to the site. For the rest of the reserve, we prefer a less intensive recreational use.
Abernethy is home to a number of spectacular birds and other wildlife. Please help us keep it special.