Trossachs

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Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve
Wooded area of the Trossachs and Loch Katrine.jpg
The forested area at the eastern end of Loch Katrine
Stirling UK relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
The location of the Trossachs within Stirling council area (map shows location of the Glen that gives its name to the wider district).
Location Stirling council area, Scotland
Coordinates 56°13′52″N4°24′18″W / 56.231°N 4.405°W / 56.231; -4.405 Coordinates: 56°13′52″N4°24′18″W / 56.231°N 4.405°W / 56.231; -4.405
Area165 km2 (64 sq mi) [2]
Designation NatureScot
Established2015
Owner Forestry and Land Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Woodland Trust Scotland.

The Trossachs ( Loudspeaker.svg listen  ; Scottish Gaelic : Na Tròiseachan) generally refers to an area of wooded glens, braes, and lochs lying to the east of Ben Lomond in the Stirling council area of Scotland. The name is taken from that of a small woodland glen that lies at the centre of the area, but is now generally applied to the wider region.

Contents

The wooded hills and lochs of the area may be considered to represent a microcosm of a typical highland landscape, [3] and the woodlands are an important habitat for many species. [4] Much of the Trossachs area is protected by various different conservation designations, including the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve . [5]

The Trossachs form part of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, which was established in 2002. [6] The area has long been visited by tourists due to the relative proximity of major population centres such as Glasgow and Stirling, and remains popular with walkers, cyclists and tourists. [3] Scenic boat rides on Loch Katrine are popular with visitors: the steamer SS Sir Walter Scott, launched in 1899, remains in operation. [7] The Great Trossachs Path, one of Scotland's Great Trails, is a 48 km route suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. It runs between Callander in the east and Inversnaid on the banks of Loch Lomond in the west, passing along the northern shores of Loch Katrine and Loch Arklet. [8]

Name and etymology

The name Trossachs involves the Brittonic root trōs meaning "across" (c.f. Welsh traws), [9] [10] perhaps conserving the compound trawsfynydd meaning "cross-hill". [10]

Also suggested is a derivation from a Gaelic word for "bristly". [11] [12]

Geography

The hill of Ben A'an. Ben A'an from the SE.jpg
The hill of Ben A'an.

The Trossachs glen lies between Ben A'an to the north and Ben Venue to the south, with Loch Katrine to the west and Loch Achray to the east. [13] It lies at the centre of the wider region, which is generally regarded as being bounded by Glen Gyle to the south, with the western boundary being the road between Stronachlachar and Aberfoyle. Loch Doine, Loch Voil, and Loch Lubnaig form the northern and eastern boundary of the area. [3] The A821 road between Aberfoyle and Callander runs through this glen, and is the main access route into the Trossachs from the south and east. The section between Aberfoyle and the Trossachs glen runs through the Achray Forest, reaching a height of 238 m above sea level at the summit of the Duke's Pass. The main route to Callander continues east via the north shores of Loch Achray and Loch Venachar, whilst a branch of the A821 heads west to finish at the western end of Loch Katrine. No public road continues along the shore of Loch Katrine, although the Great Trossachs Path allows walkers and cyclists to follow the northern shore round to Stronachlachar on the western shore. From here a minor road heads west to Loch Lomond. Stronachlachar can also be reached by the B829 road from Aberfoyle, which passes north of Loch Choin and Loch Ard. [13]

The small town of Callander and the village of Aberfoyle lie at the edge of the Trossachs, [3] however Brig o' Turk is the only settlement of any size within the Trossachs. [13] The Lake of Menteith, situated near Aberfoyle, lies about six miles (10 km) to the south east of the glen, on the edge of the Trossachs area. The lake is a fishing destination that features the ruins of Inchmahome Priory on one of its islands, Inchmahome, where Mary, Queen of Scots was taken as a child before being taken to France for her protection. [14]

History

John Ruskin painted at Glenfinlas in the Trossachs by John Everett Millais in 1853-54. Millais Ruskin.jpg
John Ruskin painted at Glenfinlas in the Trossachs by John Everett Millais in 1853–54.

There are several prehistoric sites in the area, including a cup and ring marked rock and burnt mounds in Glen Finglas. There are crannogs on Loch Ard and Loch Venachar, and an Iron Age hill fort at Dunmore. [4]

The Trossachs were one of the first parts of Scotland to become a recognised tourist destination due to the area's position on the southern edge of the highlands and the quality of the scenery, which may be considered to represent a microcosm of a typical highland landscape. [3] The poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy visited the area, with Dorothy publishing an account of their visit in Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland in 1803. [15]

The scenic charms of the area came to popularity with Sir Walter Scott's 1810 poem The Lady of the Lake , extending his romantic portrayal of Scotland's past from border ballads to poems of a medieval past rich in chivalry and symbolism. The poem gives a roll call of Trossachs place names, the lady herself being found on Loch Katrine. Scott followed up with his 1817 historical novel Rob Roy romanticising the outlaw cattle thief Raibert Ruadh, who was born by Loch Katrine [11] and buried at nearby Balquhidder.

The leading Victorian art critic John Ruskin (1819–1900) and the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais (1829–1896) spent the summer of 1853 together at Glenfinlas in the Trossachs. [16] Millais started a painting of John Ruskin during the visit, which he finished the following year. The painting is held in a private collection, but was on show at an exhibition on the Pre-Raphaelites at Tate Britain in London during 2004. [17] John Ruskin himself was especially interested in the rock formations in the area and undertook his own studies of these.

The Trossachs Hotel was built on the north bank of Loch Achray in response to the growing number of tourists visiting the region. The building now functions as the Tigh Mor Trossachs holiday apartments, owned by the Holiday Property Bond (HPB). [18] In 1859, a dam was built at the eastern end of Loch Katrine and connecting aqueducts were added to as part of a new main water supply to Glasgow. At the expense of the Glasgow water company, Queen Victoria had a holiday house built overlooking the loch. The queen never stayed in the house, named Royal Cottage, as the windows were broken by the 21-gun salute that welcomed her, [19] and the cottage later became accommodation for the employees of Scottish Water.[ citation needed ]

Nature and conservation

Ben Venue and Achray Forest in the southern park of the Great Trossachs Forest. Ben Venue.JPG
Ben Venue and Achray Forest in the southern park of the Great Trossachs Forest.

The forests of the Trossachs comprise both areas of ancient, semi-natural and traditionally managed woodland alongside commercial forestry plantations. The native woodland is largely deciduous, whilst the commercial forestry consists mostly of conifers. Birds found in the woods of the Trossachs include black grouse, capercaillie and goshawk; mammal species include red and roe deer, red squirrel and pine marten. [4] Beavers are also now present in the area, with signs of beaver activity being observed on Loch Achray during a survey undertaken over the winter of 2017–18; the beavers are assumed to have spread there from the existing population on the River Tay. [20] Species of fish found in the lochs of the Trossachs include brown trout, perch and pike, and the lochs are also a habitat for osprey and otter. Arctic char are known to have lived in Loch Venachar and Loch Achray, but as of 2006 it was believed that they were no longer present. [4] The more farmed areas of the Trossachs provide areas of marshland that are habitat for wildfowl and waders, with both wintering and breeding species recorded. [4] In 2011 the pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly - a species considered rare in Britain - was found to be living around Loch Katrine, the first time the species had been identified in the area for 25 years. [21]

Much of the Trossachs area is protected via several different conservation designations. [5]

Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve

The Great Trossachs Forest is a project that aims to deliver a 165 km2 forest in the heart of the Trossachs in order to develop a wide range of habitats for invertebrates, mammals, birds and other wildlife. [22] Since 2015 the area, which covers much of the core area of the Trossachs around Loch Katrine and Loch Arklet (including the Trossachs glen), has been classified as national nature reserve with the title Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve. [2] The reserve is considered to be a "forest in the making", and is managed jointly by Forestry and Land Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Woodland Trust Scotland. [23] The reserve is classified as a Category II protected area by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. [1] The project aims to deliver a varied landscape that provides habitats for species that are otherwise rare in Britain, including black grouse, golden eagle, osprey, wildcat, pine marten, red squirrel, water vole and otter. [24]

Other conservation designations

A smaller area (378 ha) of the Trossachs is protected as a Special Area of Conservation due to importance of the existing native forest. [25] The Trossachs are also defined as a national scenic area, [26] being one of 40 such areas in Scotland, which are defined so as to identify areas of exceptional scenery and to ensure its protection from inappropriate development. [27] Areas of forestry owned by Forestry and Land Scotland within the Trossachs form part of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, [28] and the entire area lies within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

Government and politics

The Trossachs area forms part of the council area of Stirling; at the most local level there is a Trossachs Community Council. [29] The area is part of the registration county of Perth, lying in the most westerly part of the county, close to the border with County of Stirling. [30] The area is represented in the Scottish Parliament as part of the constituency of Stirling, which elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the plurality (first past the post) method of election. The area also forms part of the Mid Scotland and Fife electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to nine constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole. At Westminster the Trossachs area is represented as part of a constituency also entitled Stirling, however this constituency, which elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, has different boundaries from the Scottish Parliament constituency.

Hills and lochs

Ben Ledi seen from Kilmahog. Ben Ledi from Kilmahog.jpg
Ben Ledi seen from Kilmahog.

The chief hills of the Trossachs are: [3]

Loch Achray and Ben Venue. Loch Achray.jpg
Loch Achray and Ben Venue.

The major lochs in the area are: [11]

Additionally, the Lake of Menteith may be regarded as lying on the boundaries of the district. [3]

Related Research Articles

Aberfoyle, Stirling Human settlement in Scotland

Aberfoyle is a village in the historic county and registration county of Perthshire and the council area of Stirling, Scotland. The settlement lies 27 miles northwest of Glasgow.

River Forth River in central Scotland

The River Forth is a major river in central Scotland, 47 km (29 mi) long, which drains into the North Sea on the east coast of the country. Its drainage basin covers much of Stirlingshire in Scotland's Central Belt. The Gaelic name for the upper reach of the river, above Stirling, is Abhainn Dubh, meaning "black river". The name for the river below the tidal reach is Uisge For.

Stirling (council area) Council area of Scotland

The Stirling council area is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and has a population of about 94,330. It was created under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994 with the boundaries of the Stirling district of the former Central local government region, and it covers most of Stirlingshire and the south-western portion of Perthshire. Both counties were abolished for local government purposes under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.

Loch Katrine

Loch Katrine is a freshwater lake in the Trossachs area of the Scottish Highlands, east of Loch Lomond, within the historic county and registration county of Perthshire and the contemporary district of Stirling. The loch is about 8 miles (13 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide at its widest point, and runs the length of Strath Gartney. It is within the drainage basins of the River Teith and River Forth.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park National park in Scotland

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is a national park in Scotland centred on Loch Lomond and the hills and glens of the Trossachs, along with several other ranges of hills. It was the first of the two national parks established by the Scottish Parliament in 2002, the second being the Cairngorms National Park. The park extends to cover much of the western part of the southern highlands, lying to the north of the Glasgow conurbation, and contains many mountains and lochs. It is the fourth-largest national park in the British Isles, with a total area of 1,865 km2 (720 sq mi) and a boundary of some 350 km (220 mi) in length. It features 21 Munros and 20 Corbetts.

Brig o Turk Human settlement in Scotland

Brig o' Turk is a small rural village historically in Perthshire and today within the council area of Stirling, Scotland. It is situated in the Trossachs, a range of hills on the A821 road.

Loch Ard

Loch Ard is a loch, located in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Stirling council area, Scotland.

Loch Venachar A lake in Stirlingshire, Scotland

Loch Venachar is a freshwater loch in Stirling district, Scotland.

Loch Achray Loch in Stirlingshire, Scotland

Loch Achray is a small freshwater loch 11 km (6.8 mi) west of Callander in Stirling district, Scotland.

Ben Venue

Ben Venue is a mountain in the Trossachs area of Scotland. The name Ben Venue is derived from the Scottish Gaelic words meaning "the miniature mountain". The summit lies approximately 2 kilometres south-west of the pier at the southern end of Loch Katrine. At the foot of the mountain close to the shore of Loch Katrine is Bealach nam Bò meaning the "pass of the cattle", a reference to the lawless days when Highland cattle "lifters" used the pass to drive stolen herds to their land.

Inversnaid Human settlement in Scotland

Inversnaid is a small rural community on the east bank of Loch Lomond in Scotland, near the north end of the loch. It has a pier and a hotel, and the West Highland Way passes through the area. A small passenger ferry runs from Inversnaid to Inveruglas on the opposite shore of the loch, and also to Tarbet. There is a seasonal ferry that also operates between Ardlui and Ardleish as well, which is a walkable distance from Inversnaid. To reach Inversnaid by road involves a 15-mile (24-kilometre) route from Aberfoyle. Nearby is an alleged hideout of Rob Roy MacGregor known as Rob Roy's Cave. The cave is difficult to access, and is best seen from Loch Lomond, where there is white paint indicating the location of the hideout.

Loch Chon

Loch Chon is a freshwater lake situated west of the village of Aberfoyle, near the small village of Kinlochard, Stirling, Scotland, UK. Loch Chon lies upstream of Loch Ard and to the south of Loch Katrine.

Strathyre Human settlement in Scotland

Strathyre is a district and settlement in the Stirling local government district of Scotland. It forms the south-eastern part of the parish of Balquhidder and was, prior to the 1973 reorganisation of local government, part of Perthshire. It is within the bounds of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. In Gaelic, the district is Srath Eadhair and the village is An t-Iomaire Riabhach or an t-Iomaire Fada.

Benvane

Benvane is a mountain in the Trossachs, in Stirling council area, Scotland. It lies within Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, and the summit is on the western boundary of the Trossachs National Nature Reserve. It is 821 metres (2,694 ft) high, and is classified as a Corbett, being joined by a ridge to the neighbouring Corbett of Ben Ledi.

Rob Roy Way

The Rob Roy Way is a Scottish long distance footpath that runs from Drymen in Stirling to Pitlochry in Perth and Kinross. The path was created in 2002, and takes its name from Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish folk hero and outlaw of the early 18th century. It traverses countryside that he knew and travelled frequently. The route crosses the Highland Boundary Fault, a geological fault where the Highlands meet the Lowlands. Views from the trail overlook Loch Lubnaig, Loch Earn, Loch Venachar and Loch Tay. The way is 127 kilometres (79 mi) in length if the direct route along the southern shore of Loch Tay and the River Tay is followed between Ardtalnaig and Aberfeldy. An optional loop also links these places via Amulree: choosing this option increases the length by a further 27 kilometres (17 mi) to 154 kilometres (96 mi).

Glen Finglas

Glen Finglas is a glen in the Trossachs, in the Stirling council area of Scotland. It is an area of forest in Highlands of the former county of Perthshire, north of Brig o' Turk, close to Callander in Menteith. To the west is Loch Katrine.

Ben Aan

Ben A'an is a hill in the Trossachs in Scotland. The pointed peak of its west top resembles a small mountain.

Duchray Water

Duchray Water, also called Dachray Water, is a 14-mile-long (23 km) headstream of the River Forth in the Trossachs region of Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

Queen Elizabeth Forest Park is a 19,665-hectare (48,590-acre) forest park in the Scottish Highlands which extends from the eastern shores of Loch Lomond to the mountains of Strathyre. The forest park is one of six such parks in Scotland, and was established in 1953, the year of the coronation of Elizabeth II. It is owned and managed by Forestry and Land Scotland.

Great Trossachs Path

The Great Trossachs Path is a 48-kilometre (30 mi) long-distance footpath through the Trossachs, in the Stirling council area of Scotland. It runs between Callander in the east and Inversnaid on the banks of Loch Lomond in the west, passing along the northern shores of Loch Katrine and Loch Arklet. The path is suitable for walkers and cyclists; much of the route is also suitable for experience horse riders, although the middle section along the shoreline of Loch Katrine is tarmacked and so may not be ideal for horses.

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