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Caledonian Splendor

By Linda Tancs

Once upon a time, a vast woodland known as the Caledonian Forest covered much of Scotland. Formed at the end of the last ice age, its remnants are still visible in places like Glen Affric, considered one of the most beautiful places in Scotland. Thick with trees, its mix of Scots pine, birch, oak and Douglas fir is a big reason why the glen is protected as a National Nature Reserve. Several animals call these ancient woods home, like its iconic red deer (most visible in winter and autumn), pine martens and red squirrels. The protected environment is also invaluable for rare species like golden eagles and black grouse. A short distance from Loch Ness, the River Affric runs the length of the reserve, where trails offer stunning views of the mountains, towering trees and waterfalls.

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