Visitors

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

Background

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.

Plan

From June to September, we'll be conducting 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 available in October and published on this page for everyone to use, and explored in detail with the business community

Events and activities

From June to September we’ll be asking people at a number of locations to complete an online-based research survey, including at the main visitor centres at Abernethy, Rothiemurchus and Glenmore.

If you're visiting these areas please keep an eye out for the survey link and QR code on posters and postcards. Using the link you can complete the survey anonymously online. If you're interested and willing to take part in focus groups, there will be a place in the survey to leave your contact details.

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

Meeting notes

Over the visitor research period, as we review progress each month, we'll post the meeting notes here, so please watch this space.

Latest news for visitors

Keep up to date with news related to work with the visitor community.

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