Cairngorms National Park

View of Glen Isla, Caenlochan National Nature Reserve

Land Management

Our Land Management Training and Knowledge Exchange programme aims to support and encourage people employed in estate management, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and other types of land-based businesses in the Park to improve their skills and expand their knowledge.

Man digging on heather moorInvesting in Rural Skills

During 2017 we are continuing to support training in key practical rural skills by reimbursing 30% of the cost of short courses in topics such as off road vehicle driving, chainsaw operation, deer stalking, habitat monitoring and pesticide use. You can apply now for the subsidy for any eligible training taking place.

Find out how to claim via our quick and easy application process

Courses and Events for 2017

Flying Colours – Cairngorms Butterflies and Moths, Tuesday 16th May, Kingussie, FREE.

A great chance to spend a day with local expert Tom Prescott learning about key species, their habitat requirements and conservation, particularly useful for land/forestry sector managers, agents and advisors. Indoor session and site visits. Book via Penny.

National Plant Monitoring Scheme survey training, Tuesday 13th June run by Plantlife, Abernethy Outdoor Centre, Nethybridge, FREE.

Learn the skills to take part in this important UK wide plant surveillance scheme undertaken by volunteers – your help is needed! Indoor teaching session followed by a practical field session. Click here for more details and booking.

All about Fungi, Thursday 7th September, 9.30 – 16.30, Boat of Garten – Fully booked, but get in touch if you want to be added to the reserve list.

We are delighted to welcome back expert Liz Holden for an indoor morning learning about fungal biology followed by a chance to try out identification skills in the woods. Book early via Penny for this fascinating course. FREE, lunch included.

DSC1 Deer Stalking, four day training and assessment course offered by the North Highlands College in partnership with SNH at Creag Meagaidh NNR, start date 13th May. Cost £300, reduced to £210 for Cairngorms candidates eligible for the CNPA 30% rural skills subsidy. Details and booking here. The college are also running a Larder Training Day which includes shooting skills on 13th May, cost £125 (£87.50 with rural skills subsidy).

Ladies only DSC1 Deer Stalking Two courses running, book for either Thurs/Fri 7th and 8th September, or Sat/Sun 9th and 10th September. Held at the Stalking School, Ballindalloch.

Another chance to do this 2 day training and assessment in a fun and friendly setting, and at half price (subsidised cost approx. £130). Contact Penny now to find out more and book.

Contact Penny Lawson, t. 01479 870519 for more information on any of the above courses, or to talk to us about what training you need.



Cairngorms Forest and Woodland Strategy Review – Scoping Meeting 15th March 2017

CFWS meeting notes


Current Strategy – Penny Lawson, CNPA

National Policy Context – John Risby, FCS

Enhancing Natural Capital – Andrew Heald, Confor

Value of Woodlands For Nature – David Hetherington, CNPA

New Strategy Proposals – Will Boyd Wallis, CNPA

 Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – Research, Conservation and Partnership in the Cairngorms, 23rd March 2017

Snowbed Bryophytes – Neil Bell

Alpine Blue Sow Thistle in the Cairngorms – Aline Finger and Natacha Frachon

Montane Lichens – Rebecca Yahr


Strategic Research Programme – Centre for Knowledge Exchange and Impact: Strategy Development Meeting 1st November 2016

Anke Fischer – Research on Recreation and Wellbeing

Beth Wells – A Whole Catchment Approach to Cryptosporidium Control

David Clyne – Active Cairngorms

Graeme Cook – The Centre for Knowledge Exchange and Impact

Jane Atterton – Place-based Policy Research

Justin Irvine – Monitoring Peatland Condition in Scotland: Ongoing work at JHI

Justin Irvine – Woodland Expansion

Lee Innes – Environment and Zoonoses

Mark Wilkinson – Nature-based Upstream Storage Features to Manage Flood Risk

Ruth Mitchell – Tree Health: The Implications of Tree Diseases on the Wider Environment

Stephen Corcoran – Challenges to Peatland Restoration in the Cairngorms

Susan Cooksley – Catchment Partnerships: Working Together, Getting Things Done

Will Boyd-Wallis – Cairngorms Forest & Woodland Framework

Meeting Report and Outcomes


Cairngorms Forests – where next? Tuesday 28th June 2016

The Cairngorms National Park is celebrated for its outstanding woodland, from productive conifer plantations to ancient Caledonian pinewoods and diverse native broadleaf woodlands in the straths. This event at the Lonach Hall, Strathdon, brought together over 100 land owners, foresters, farmers, agents and others with an interest in Cairngorms forests and woodlands to hear a wide range of excellent speakers from the sector talk about why, where and how we can expand and enhance our woodland even further.


James Hepburne Scott – Forest Carbon funding and the Tweed Forum

Hamish Trench – National Park Partnership Plan 2017 – 2022

Gordon Brown – An Estate’s Perspective on Woodland Expansion

David Frew – Native pinewood restoration alongside Sporting Management

Davy McCracken – Farm Woodland Creation and Enhancement

David Robertson – The Value of Productive Forests in the Park

Ian Cowe – Forestry Grant Scheme

Kenny Kortland – Pinewood Enhancement for Biodiversity

Andy Ford  – Cairngorms Nature Update

David Hetherington – A Vision for Woodland in the Cairngorms

Discussion Notes