Find out more about the 13 Ranger Services that cover the National Park.
Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service is responsible for implementing many of the Local Authority’s environmental strategies across Aberdeenshire, with an emphasis on countryside access and community involvement. The service covers the area of the National Park in Strathdon and Deeside/Glenshee, with a Ranger Base at the Burn O’Vat centre in Dinnet.
Tel: 013398 80868
Located at the Glen Doll Ranger Base, the Angus Glens Ranger Service has an operational area that takes in all of the local glens. The Rangers are on hand to offer advice on walks, wildlife, hill conditions, stalking activities and a variety of other topics. The base has a visitor centre offering information displays and a wide range of Cairngorms National Park leaflets, including walks in Glen Clove and Glen Doll, Glen Esk and cycling in the Angus Glens. There are several waymarked woodland trails through Glen Doll Forest. The Rangers run a series of events throughout the year and guided walks for visiting groups and schools can be arranged.
Tel: 01575 550233
Atholl Estates dates back to the 13th century and today manages a range of operations in the tourism, events, forestry, farming, property and country sport sectors. Based in Blair Atholl, the Atholl Estates Ranger Service assists visitors in their understanding and enjoyment of the area, and also plays a role in countryside education and conservation. They manage waymarked trails for walkers and cyclists on the estate, as well as running the Information Centre, which features a display on the workings of the estate and offers some activities for children. Information on what to do in the area is provided, making the Centre a helpful reference point if you are planning any outdoor activities. The centre is open from 9am to 4:45pm daily, between Easter and October
Tel: 01796 481 355/481 646
Balmoral Estate is a highland estate with a long association with Royalty. Queen Victoria bought the estate in 1852 and since then it has provided a home for successive generations of the Royal Family. The Visitor Centre at the Spittal of Glen Muick includes interpretation of the surrounding area and is open year round, with free entrance. The Ranger Service provides guided walks, talks and land rover safaris to the general public, as well as providing talks and information for educational groups. They aim to give visiting groups an opportunity to enjoy, explore and appreciate the landscape and wildlife found on a traditionally managed, privately owned Highland Estate. A Ranger tries to be available every day in the early morning and late afternoon, in the visitor centre. Up-to-date weather forecasts are displayed during the winter months. Wildlife information and leaflets, describing walks in the local area, can also be obtained from the visitor centre.
Tel: 013397 55059
Cairngorm Mountain Ranger Service operating from the Ranger Base at the car park in Coire Cas, at the Cairngorm Ski Area. The Ranger Service organises and carries out work on the mountain paths radiating from the car park and leads guided walks to the summit of Cairn Gorm in summer. A large part of the annual environmental monitoring in relation to the mountain railway is done by the ranger. Among other activities are counts of winter climbers, organisation of volunteers and educational visits from schools and colleges. The rangers also operate the unique Cairngorm Snow White facility to help mountaineers leave no trace on the mountains
Tel: 01479 861327
Based in Boat of Garten and the Explore Abernethy Centre The RSPB Community Ranger Service can help you make the most of Abernethy National Nature Reserve and the surrounding woodland. The service runs regular walks and talks as well as promoting responsible behavior during the sensitive bird breeding season.
Forestry Commission Scotland is responsible for the management of forests and woodland owned by the nation. They are the biggest recreation provider in Britain and are working to improve the woods for people and wildlife. Two rangers work within the Cairngorms – one based at Glenmore near Aviemore and two covering Deeside, Kincardine and Aberdeenshire. Glenmore Visitor Centre has free admission, offering visitors the opportunity to find out about the native pine forest. Walks, talks and school visits can be arranged by request.
Tel: 01479 861220
Glenlivet Estate is part of Crown Estate Scotland and lies between the Ladder and Cromdale hills at the north east edge of the Cairngorms. Within this varied landscape you can enjoy excellent walking, cycling, horse riding, skiing and wildlife watching on the extensive network of waymarked trails. The Ranger Service operates an Information Centre in Tomintoul (free entry), where a variety of displays and leaflets are available and staff are on hand to offer advice. A woodland adventure playground is located next to the Information Centre. Guided walks and events are run throughout the year.
Tel: 01479 870070
Glen Tanar Estate is a highland estate specialising in forestry, farming and field sports. The estate runs from Mount Keen in the south to the river Dee in the north and is dominated by its internationally important Caledonian forest remnant. There is a Visitor Centre at Braeloine, with free entrance, which includes a permanent exhibition explaining the history, management and wildlife of the estate. The Centre is manned by a full-time countryside ranger service which provides help with outdoor education and environmental activities. They offer advice which can help you make the most of exploring the area and we are happy to provide you with information on the local wildlife. Visits by educational groups are always welcome.
Tel: 013398 86072
The Highlife Highland Countryside Ranger aims to provide visitors and local communities with a greater understanding and respect for the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands. They do this by providing information, advice, interpretation, environmental education and action that encourages a sense of stewardship for the natural environment.
Working across Perthshire the Perth and Kinross Ranger Service supports community biodiversity projects, outdoor learning in schools, junior rangers and the John Muir Award.
Tel: 01738 476476
Rothiemurchus Estate is in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, near Aviemore, and extends from the River Spey, through one of the largest remaining areas of ancient Caledonian forests, to the tops of the Cairngorms. It is in the ownership and care of the Grants of Rothiemurchus and has the longest established private sector ranger service in Scotland. They are on-hand, 364 days of the year to help visitors enjoy Rothiemurchus, through a wide range of activities and broad in-depth knowledge of the area. They offer advice on where to visit on the estate and what to keep a look out for at different times of the year. There is a ranger base at Inverdruie.
Tel: 01479 812345
The National Trust for Scotland is a conservation charity that protects and promotes Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations to enjoy.
Mar Lodge occupies part of the core area of the Cairngorms National Park and contains four of the five highest mountains in the UK, as well as the upper watershed of the River Dee. There is a pedestrian access to all of the estate, with opportunities for short and long walks over mountains or in the wooded glens. The Ranger Service run guided walks and events and can offer site visits or talks by arrangement.
The Pass of Killiecrankie is a magnificent wooded gorge with the River Garry flowing along its base. The Battle of Killiecrankie, which was the major event in the first of the Jacobite uprisings, was fought nearby. The Visitor Centre, which includes a shop, tells the story of both the rich natural history of the Pass and the story of the battle.
Tel: 013397 41669 – Mar lodge, 0844 493 2192 – Killiecrankie
National Nature Reserves
This is the best example of a natural floodplain in Britain and one of the most important wetlands in Europe. The reserve also boasts one of Scotland’s finest aspen woodlands. The site is owned and managed by RSPB. Monthly guided walks are conducted between April and August with occasional other events. A Field Teacher is available to work with local schools, both visiting schools and leading field trips to the NNR. Tel: 01540 661518, E-mail: [email protected]
Lying within the Cairngorms National Park, Muir of Dinnet has lovely walks through the woodland and around Loch Kinord. But the highlight for most visitors is a trip into the Vat, a giant pothole carved out by water at the end of the Ice Age. Tel SNH 013398 81667 or [email protected]
Abernethy NNR sits in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and contains the largest remnant of ancient Caledonian pine forest as well as moorland, lochs, rivers and montane habitat. It also plays host to the world famous Loch Garten Osprey Centre, with its associated woodland trails. We have an RSPB Community Ranger and a Community Learning Officer who can lead both children and adult groups visiting the reserve and make sure you get the most out of your visit. Contact: Jess Tomes, Visitor Operations Manager – [email protected] Tel: 01479 821409