Natural Heritage & Wildlife

The distinctive and varied landscape of Applecross supports an equally varied array of habitats and species. As the ice caps retreated northwards after the last glaciation, the area's mountainous landforms were scoured clean by ice, initially to be colonised by open grassland. Juniper, birch and hazel woodland would have invaded subsequently as conditions became less climatically harsh and more suitable for tree growth.

By 6,000 BC, pine forests dominated much of the area, with peat bogs beginning to form during wetter climatic periods around that era. Like elsewhere in Scotland, a long history of forest clearance and land management associated with human habitation has radically altered the once natural habitats of the area, with woodlands now only covering a small proportion of their original area.

Nevertheless, with its rivers and lochs, rocky and beach shores, peat bogs, woodlands, saltmarsh, mudflats and grassland, Applecross peninsula is still home to many species considered rare elsewhere, and provides great opportunities for wildlife watching for those who know where to look. Natural and Landscape Audits for Applecross can be viewed and downloaded from the Downloads section of the website.
A number of wildlife factsheets have been prepared by the Applecross Trust and can be viewed and downloaded here.

Other useful websites

Species records for many animal groups occuring within Applecross can be obtained from the National Biodiversity Gateway by searching on the grid squares NG75, 74 and 73. Click here to access this website.
The Wester Ross Biodiversity Action Plan can be viewed here.
A vascular plant list  for the Vice County (Wester Ross) collated by the Botanical Society of the British Isles can be viewed here.
Promoting the rich
heritage, wildlife & culture
of the West Highlands

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