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Understanding the Cairngorms

Thomas, Chris; Gillespie, Martin. 2005 Understanding the Cairngorms. Planet Earth, Spring. 18-19.

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Abstract/Summary

Renowned for their dramatic and distinctive landscape, the Cairngorm Mountains lie at the heart of the Scottish Grampian Highlands. The mountains and the surrounding area are amongst the most heavily used upland regions of the United Kingdom, supporting in various ways a significant part of the central Grampian Highlands economy. Forming the core of the recently designated Cairngorms National Park, the mountains host one of Europe’s finest groups of landscape features; some of these predate the ice ages, some were formed during the ice ages, and their development continues today. They presently support a sub-arctic fauna and flora. The landscape, climate and wildlife combine to produce a mountain environment unique in the UK. The landscape features contain a wealth of information about past environmental change and how the landscape evolved through arid, tropical and arctic periods to today’s temperate climate. The Cairngorms are recognised internationally for their Earth heritage value, and are included on the UK’s ‘Tentative List’ of World Heritage sites, submitted to UNESCO. Developing and implementing policy in the Cairngorms is politically sensitive, as shown by the recent furore over developing the Cairngorm Mountain Funicular Railway and the protracted and often heated debate over the National Park’s status, extent and planning framework.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Geology and Landscape Northern
ISSN: 1479-2605
Date made live: 11 Feb 2014 11:21 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/504829

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