The Fairy Glen near Rosemarkie is an area of broadleaved woodland set in an attractive steep-sided valley, with the Markie Burn running through it. It is managed by the RSBP and local landowners. The glen gets its name from an old tradition. Every Sunday, the children of the village would gather in the glen, at the site of a spring. They would tidy up the pool area around the spring and sprinkle flower petals on it as a gift to the fairies. The fairies in return would ensure a good clean supply of water for the village.
The glen is heavily wooded with birches, geans and rowans and is a haven for plants and wildlife. Depending on the time of year you are likely to see primroses, bluebells, water avens, wood sorrel and red campion. You might spot willow warblers, buzzards, treecreepers, wrens, sparrowhawks, dippers and grey wagtails. The millpond dates back at least 200 years. At the turn of the 19th century, when salmon fishing was a thriving local industry, ice would be cut from the pond in winter and transported to local ‘ice-houses’ to preserve the fish. Around the pond today you might see mallards, grey herons, frogs, newts and dragonflies. Also of geographical interest on the southern side of the glen in the area known as ‘The Dens’, are a series of earth pillars, formed by water erosion. Such pillars can be seen in other parts of Europe but are rare in Britain. Find the wishing Tree and sit by the two waterfalls stunning and relaxing.
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