The land around Braemar, dominated by the Cairngorm Mountains, is one of Scotland’s premier areas for nature conservation, and much of the ground is protected. With a little patience you can see a wealth of wildlife that is rare or absent from much of the UK, follow the links for some of the species you might see during a visit during the different seasons:-
However, whatever the season there is a good chance you will catch sight of some of Scotlands most iconic wildlife during your visit:-
Red squirrels are commonly seen in the gardens and woodland around the village and the area is a real stronghold for this acrobatic and agile native.
Red Deer are frequently seen (and heard in the autumn) in the glens and hills. Herds are regularly seen in Glen Clunie between Braemar and Glenshee and on the Quoich flats.
Golden Eagles are known to nest in several locations near Braemar. The sight of a soaring golden eagle, with their 2 metre wingspan, is a privilege you will hopefully see during your visit.
Otters are shy creatures and spotting them requires some luck, patience and silence but they are sighted at various places along the River Dee and River Clunie.
Good places for viewing wildlife include:-
Morrone Birkwood (birchwood) is a nature reserve in a beautiful setting above the village on the side of Morrone Hill, with open aspects looking north to the Cairngorms. Ecologists say it has a close resemblance to the woodlands of parts of Norway and is a reminder of how large tracts of upland Scotland would have looked in earlier times.
National Trust for Scotland manage Mar Lodge Estate which covers iconic landscapes from the beautiful Dee Valley to the high plateau of the Cairngorm Mountains. Their Ranger Service runs a programme of walks and events to help you make the most of this stunning area.
Other places within easy reach of Braemar to enjoy the natural environment include Glen Tanar and the Muir of Dinnet near Aboyne, and Glen Muick near Ballater which all have visitor centres and /or interpretation information as well as their own ranger services.
Please remember to observe from a distance and never disturb any wildlife.
Dogs must be kept under control or on leads, especially during the bird nesting season between April and July.