Plantlife Scotland Project in the Cairngorms National Park

Building on our previous work in the Cairngorms, Plantlife’s new and ambitious National Heritage Lottery Funded project, Rare Plants and Wild Connections, empowers people to take action to save and support our rarest wild plant populations across the species-rich grasslands, pinewoods, and arctic-alpine habitats of these celebrated mountains.

Plantlife Scotlands Community Scientist Keilidh Ewan, working on the Cairngorms Rare Plants and Wild Connections project, takes us on a walk with wildflowers in this guest blog.

Walking with Wildflowers 

Spring is now well and truly in the air and the floor of the Cairngorms Caledonian pine forests are starting to light up with colour. With many of our wildflowercoming into bloom, May is a great time for exploring the world beneath our walking boots.  

Some plant species, such as the wonderful Wood Anemone – which thrives in ancient woodlands – have graced us with their presence since early spring and are now being joined by a diverse range of wildflowers 

We’ve selected two sites with a variety of trails to suit all abilities, packed with unique floral finds to inspire your adventures. If you live locally and have been enjoying exploring these sites during the lockdown, you might just find these guides give your walk a fresh perspective and highlight a little piece of micro magic that might have otherwise been missed.  

On a recent visit to Anagach Woods, we stopped to admire the carpet of sphagnum mossessedges, cross-leaved heath and bog cotton that make up a rare floating forest of bog woodland. Did you know that there used to be a loch here?  

Wood_Anemone_(c)_Andrew_Gagg_P4104429

Wood_Anemone_(c)_Andrew_Gagg_P4104429

Learn about the wild plants of the majestic Anagach Woods in Grantown and the atmospheric pinewoods of Cambus o’May in Deeside by downloading Plantlife’s free self-led wildflower walk guides:  

Wildflower Walks: The Wild Plants of Anagach Woods 

Wildflower Walks: The Wild Plants of Cambus o’May 

If you would like to boost your wildlife identification skills elsewhere in the National Park this weekend, another way to get involved is by taking part in this year’s Great British Wildflower Hunt – a fun and simple way to learn the names of the wild flowers you find.  

To take part you can either download the Great British Wildflower Hunt app, or print out a spotter sheet to take with you and tell us what you’ve found online when you get home from your hunt! For more information and download links, please visit: https://www.plantlife.org.uk/wildflowerhunt/  

The Cairngorms is in fact home to some of Scotland’s rarest and most beautiful wildflowers. 

Over the next few years, Plantlife is delighted to be helping people take action and support these rare plant populations right across the Cairngorms landscape.  

Some of the special species that we’ll be working with over the next three years of our National Lottery Heritage Funded Project that can be found here amongst the pinewoods, include One-flowered Wintergreen and the iconic TwinflowerAlthough these are yet to bloom, there is still so much to discover within these historic woodlands, so why not head out for a walk this BIG weekend to see what treasures you might find?  

We hope you have a wonderful weekend of wildflower hunting, and if you would like to find out more information about Plantlife’s Rare Plants and Wild Connections Project and how you can get involved locally, please do get in touch at keilidh.ewan@plantlife.org.uk.  

Keilidh Ewan 

Plantlife | Cairngorms Rare Plants and Wild Connections Community Scientist 

 

Blog Film People and Nature Virtual
Location: Cairngorms National Park Wide Date: May 15, 2021 Time: 9:00 am -