Insh Marshes RSPB reserve, Loch Insh, 2000

The Cairngorms

The Cairngorms

The wider Cairngorms Futurescape contains the Badenoch & Strathspey and Caledonian Pinewood Futurescapes. Together, these encompass the whole of the Cairngorms – some 4583 square kilometres.

The lower altitude Badenoch & Strathspey is a semi-natural floodplain, with the Insh Marshes National Nature Reserve at its heart. Cattle and sheep graze the wet grassland – which is one of the UK’s most important sites for breeding waders. This floodplain also benefits flood management and water purification.

The Cairngorms is a high mountain plateau surrounded by Caledonian pinewood. Just one per cent of the original Caledonian pinewood forest remains, with more than half of this located in the Cairngorms.

The pinewoods are a vital part of the Cairngorms, delivering economic benefits through timber production, shelter for domestic and wild animals and leisure activities and tourism.


PDF, 1.28Mb.  Date: 5 September 2014

Futurescapes - Badenoch and Strathspey

PDF, 1.16Mb. Date: 14 October 2013

Futurescapes - Caledonian Forest

Explore the area

Find out what’s going on near this Futurescape, including places to visit, news and local events, plus how you can work or volunteer for us.

Mountain top with stone pile, ptarmigan habitat, Corre Cas, Cairngorm, Highlands, Scotland.
Snow on the Cairngorms, RSPB Reserve

Nearby reserves

Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape are:


Crannach is a tranquil woodland site. The habitat supports priority species such as black grouse, Scottish crossbill and a range of other woodland birds.

Insh Marshes

Insh Marshes National Nature Reserve is one of the most important wetlands in Europe. Enjoy a springtime stroll and look out for nesting lapwings, redshanks and curlews, or visit in the wintertime when the marsh floods.

Loch Garten, Abernethy

When ospreys returned to breed in Scotland, this ancient Caledonian pinewood is where they chose to come. The Loch Garten Osprey Centre boasts fantastic views of these magnificent birds on the nest, as well as close up views thanks to our non-invasive CCTV camera.

Loch Garten RSPB reserve. Speyside, Scotland. August 2007.
Loch Garten, Abernethy
 Insh Marshes RSPB reserve, Loch Insh, 2000
Insh Marshes

Our partners

Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Cairngorms. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:

Saving special places