Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve (NNR) is a landscape shaped by retreating glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age around 15,000 years ago. The most striking feature is the ‘Vat’ – a giant pothole some 25 metres across formed by the glacial meltwaters. Throughout the Reserve, the melting glaciers left behind a variety of deposits and meltwater channels and kettle hole depressions that form the basis for the variety of habitats and species found at Muir of Dinnet today.
At the heart of the Reserve are Lochs Davan and Kinord, with their near pure water and associated bogs and fens providing ideal habitat for a wide mix of species; from rare water beetles to the elusive otter, feeding and breeding on the Reserve. During winter, the lochs are an important roost site, attracting migrating geese and other wildfowl.
Dry heaths, including the internationally important bearberry heath, thrive on the drier hummocky ground. The heaths support rare moths, such as the netted mountain and cousin German, and in summer are home to ground nesting birds, such as curlew and meadow pipit. Young pine and birch now cover large areas of the Reserve and provide an interesting transition from open heath, young scrub to pine and birch woodland. These woodlands also support a rich variety of invertebrates and breeding birds including, the Kentish glory moth, wood warbler and chaffinch.
Muir of Dinnet is one of over 45 NNRs in Scotland. Scotland’s NNRs are special places for nature, where some of the best examples of Scotland’s wildlife are managed.
Muir of Dinnet is managed by Scottish Natural Heritage. Like every NNR it is carefully managed for both nature and people, giving visitors the opportunity to experience our rich natural heritage. The network of trails, visitor centre and car parks all make Muir of Dinnet a truly accessible Reserve for all to explore and enjoy.
For an introduction to the reserve and information on visiting read the Muir of Dinnet NNR leaflet or have a look at the NNR website. For more detailed information read The Story of Muir of Dinnet NNR.