Morrone Birkwood


A National Nature Reserve



Braemar, Scotland


Fly Agaric - a colourful but poisonous example of the many species to be seen.




The pine is king of Scottish Woods

The queen, ah who is she?

The fairest form the forest kens

The bonnie birken tree


Morrone Birkwood is a special place - as regular visitors will know. Set in some of the most impressive mountain scenery in Scotland, the reserve offers people a unique experience - even within the Cairngorms. Morrone is special for many reasons, and its unusual combination of birch, juniper and lime-loving herbs makes it a very important site. Not only is it rare to find woods like this, but it is even more unusual to find patches of such fertile soils in the uplands. It produces a woodland community that is the best example of its type in Britain - you would have to go to Norway's mountain birchwoods to find anything like it.


Braemar looking towards the south.

Behind and to the right (south west) of the village is Morrone and the birkwood, Just a short walk from the village the birkwood offers a wide variety of plants and wildlife plus some superb views of the surrounding mountains.



The name 'Morrone' means either ' a large hill' , 'ridge' or 'big point' depending on your interpretation of its Gaelic origins. 'Birkwood' comes from the old Norse word for birch trees.






Map of Braemar and Morrone Birkwood

The text reads

From the direction finder you can see 9 Munros (mountains over 3000 feet high) - including Ben MacDui, The Devil's Point, Carn a' Mhaim, Cairn Toul, Braeriach, Derry Cairngorm, Beinn Bhreac and Beinn Mheadhoin. You can also see several Corbetts (mountains over 2500 feet high)



Beauty, antiquity and a feeling of wildness are likely to be your lasting impressions. The spectacular landscape, largely moulded by glaciers 10,000 years ago, seem unchanged and unaffected by man. Pollen preserved in the peat at Morrone suggests that the present woodland vegetation has survived more or less unchanged for the last 8000 years. Yet man has already played a larger role here than you may suspect.

The above text and photos are based on the Morrone Birkwood leaflet produced by Scottish Natural Heritage

Much of the wildlife of Morrone visits the village of Braemar. To view a few examples click here


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A malt whisky trail

Church of St Margaret

Morrone Birkwood


Page written by Mike Franklin, Braemar, 26th January 2002

Web : Callater Lodge

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