Legally Protected

There are many species within the National Park that are protected in law. How this protection works varies depending from where the protection comes and what the species are. However there are two main sources of this legal protection:

European protected species

Some species of plants and animals have specific legal protection from European Directives.

Species protected at European level are done so through the “Council directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora”. This is known as the Habitats Directive for short. It also includes provision made in the earlier Birds Directive. The Habitats Directive is translated into Scots law through the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended in Scotland).

Within the Cairngorms National Park there are 13 species protected in this way which are known as European Protected Species or EPS. They are:

Any bat but the following are known to be within the National Park; nathusius, soprano and common pipistrelle, Daubentons’s,Natterer’s and brown long eared;
Scottish wildcat;
Great crested newt;
Killarney fern;
Slender naiad;
Floating-leaved water plantain;
Yellow marsh saxifrage.

More information on these species and their protection can be found at the SNH website here:



Nationally protected species

There are a greater number of species that are protected in Scottish Law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, though this also has more recent amendments, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996. These acts have specific protection for many species including squirrels, water voles, pine marten, badges and all wild birds. More information on these acts can be found on SNH website here:

If you are doing anything on your own or anyone else’s land that may impact upon protected species or their places of rest you may need a licence from SNH. Information on Licensing can be found here:

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