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GO WILD – UP NORTH CRAIGELLACHIE


RESERVATIONS C


Scotland’s National Nature Reserves like Craigellachie can be enjoyed throughout the year


raigellachie is one of a whole series of National Nature Reserves across


Scotland, which are some of the best places for everyone to enjoy the magic and beauty of Scotland’s nature. Craigellachie is the largest birch


woodland in Strathspey and, to find it, all you need to do is walk out the Aviemore Youth Hostel door and turn left. For an overview of the splendour of the western reaches of the Cairngorms National Park, take a walk to the top of the viewpoint trail. The reserve is very accessible with four way-marked trails of different lengths and an audio guide to the reserve you can access via your mobile phone. Te graceful silver birches are the backdrop for Craigellachie’s rich wildlife, and you might well creep up on a feeding roe deer or bump into a golden-ringed dragonfly. Te Crag which gives the reserve its name is often used for nesting


by a pair of peregrine falcons. It’s a great place to visit at any time of year – here’s a selection of its seasonal highlights…


Spring: Te sound of birdsong fills the woods while colourful wildflowers carpet the woodland floor.


Summer: Butterflies will be flitting around the reserve, while over the lochans,


dragonflies and damselflies hawk


for insects.


Autumn: Te birch woodland puts on a truly stunning display of autumn tints and look out for the array of fungi. You may also hear the ‘barking’ of a roe deer.


Winter: Perfect for taking in the snow-covered peaks of the rugged Cairngorms landscape from the reserve’s viewpoint.


HOSTEL


TO VISIT Aviemore Youth Hostel,Tel: 01479 810345 Cairngorm Lodge, Tel: 01479 861238 Tomintoul Youth Hostel, Tel: 01807 580364 Braemar Youth Hostel, Tel: 01339 741659 Book at: www.hostellingscotland.com


Tis is the kind of spectacular view you can expect when exploring the Cairngorms National Park


2012 SCOTTISH HOSTELLER 37


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