An integral community to the Cairngorms and critical to enabling the National Park's rare and endangered wildlife to thrive.


Each year, Abernethy Forest, Rothiemurchus and Glenmore Forest Park receive over 1 million visits. For many, a visit to these areas is their first and lasting impression of the Cairngorms National Park.

Ensuring they have a "wow" experience and a warm welcome is of paramount importance, particularly as visitors support, directly, over 5,000 jobs and contribute over £300 million into local communities.

Research shows that capercaillie tend to avoid areas near people, thereby limiting the amount of space they have to live. Abernethy Forest, Rothiemurchus and Glenmore Forest Park are all designated under the Habitats Regulations to protect the threatened habitats and wildlife they contain, including capercaillie. Landowners also have a responsibility under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to help visitors understand and value the importance of the area.

In light of these responsibilities and opportunities for people, the local economy and capercaillie, the project is collaborating with the RSPB, Rothiemurchus and Forestry & Land Scotland to maximise the visitor experience and opportunities for capercaillie to thrive in Abernethy Forest, Rothiemurchus and Glenmore Forest Park.


From June to September, we conducted some visitor research. The results will help us develop an in-depth understanding of the motivations of different types of visitors, including those who live locally and visit the forests, and what makes an amazing visitor experience for them, so we can cater more specifically for visitors; in a way that also enables capercaillie and other wildlife to thrive.

The results of the research will be published on this page in February for everyone to use and explored in detail with the business community

Events and activities

To read more about the research please click on the links below, and please get in touch here if you'd like to know more or have thoughts you'd like to share.

Summary of the visitor research

Frequently asked questions about the visitor research

Background research


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