Our Vision

Our vision for habitat restoration is unparalleled in its scope, scale and timeframe, in the UK. Our milestones over the next 200 years chart our plans to restore native woodlands to their natural limits, including high-altitude montane woodland; to restore peatlands, wetlands and rivers and to build support and understanding locally, nationally and internationally.


  • Cairngorms Connect is well established as a pioneering example of what can be achieved by working in partnership at a landscape scale.
  • There is clear evidence of early achievements: young woodlands are spreading across open moorlands; peatlands and bogs show the signs of repair and early recovery, and rivers move more freely across flood plains.
  • Local communities and visitors are engaged with the project and the benefits it will bring. Information about the project is widely available, on-site, on-line and locally.


  • The effects of woodland regeneration, floodplain and peatland restoration is evident. With the exception of on-going herbivore control, all of the principal interventions are complete.
  • Natural characteristics are mainly being achieved by natural processes.
  • The emphasis of the project is now on monitoring, research and promotion, publicity and demonstration.


  • Cairngorms Connect’s woodland habitats are the best examples in NW Europe of an oceanic boreal forest.
  • The forest has extended well towards its natural altitudinal limit, including montane woodland - achieved principally by natural regeneration in the presence of grazing animals.
  • Woodlands – including some plantations - have a high degree of naturalness, with structural variety and high deadwood content.
  • Wetlands have water tables at near-natural levels. Features of more-natural floodplains and river systems are well established.
  • Peatlands have recovered and there are no longer extensive areas of ‘hagging’ - the blanket bog is actively building.
  • The vast area covered by the partnership is internationally recognised as a success in landscape–scale restoration.
  • Its value for rare and diverse wildlife, spectacular landscapes, sustainable recreation, and for delivering a wealth of well-understood ecosystem services is appreciated by many of those who live near, work in, and visit the Cairngorms Connect partnership area.
  • For those willing to take a sustainable approach to agriculture, silviculture and deer management, there are opportunities to make a modest living from the land – through small-scale, low intensity farming and forestry enterprises.
Cairngorms Connect Area
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