Beinn Eighe

Situated on the west coast of Scotland, Beinn Eighe Biosphere Reserve and Nature Reserve displays a suite of habitats primarily influenced by upland and oceanic factors.

Most of Beinn Eighe is covered by open heathland, bare rock, scree, and wet grassland with scattered bogs and peat lands. Of national interest are two variants of dwarf shrub heath and a western variant of moss heath. The woodland, which is found below 300m close to Loch Maree and in various isolated gorges, includes the best remaining examples of western pinewood in Britain, and also contains birch, holly, ivy, rowan, oak and juniper.

Declaration Date: 1976
Surface Area: 4800ha
Administrative Division: Wester Ross

Human Activities

  • Restoration of native woodland
  • Long term environmental monitoring and research
  • Public access and environmental education

Ecological Characteristics

  • Internationally important remnant Caledonian forest (Scots pine);
  • Other rare and unusual habitats of national importance include the UK’s best example of dwarf shrub heath with prostrate juniper, and montane lichen heath;
  • Globally important populations of rare plant species, particularly mosses, liverworts and lichens;
  • Supports a wide range of invertebrates, including specialist beetles and hoverflies which are restricted to Caledonian pine forest, and 13 species of dragonflies, some of which have restricted northern distributions.

Protection Classifications


  • National Nature Reserve
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Part of Wester Ross National Scenic Area

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                                                                              Last update: January 2015

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