Glen Nant National Nature Reserve
Glen Nant National Nature Reserve (Glen Nant NNR) is a renowned Scottish oakwood with a fascinating history and many interesting creatures. It is well known for the woodants that call it home as well as for playing a role in the history of iron-making in Scotland. The Scottish Natural Heritage organization and Forestry Commission have jurisdiction over Glen Nant National Nature Reserve, which is located in the Lorne Forest District of Argyll. For a remarkable outdoor adventure filled with the beauty of nature and the presence of history, Glen Nant NNR is an ideal destination from April through to October.
The area of Glen Nant has been carved out of basalt rock over the years which has resulted in peaty soil. This soil is perfect for heather, wild honeysuckle, bluebell, blaeberry and wood sorrel. Hazel trees, ash trees, wild garlic and primrose can be found on patches of lime-rich soil. The Oakwoods of Glen Nant National Nature Reserve consists of oak and birch interspersed with holly, hazel, willow and ash. This marvelous, rich habitat is home to a variety of animal life such as butterflies, squirrels and deer. Bird watchers can look out for jays, treecreepers, warblers, woodpeckers and many others. Famed creatures living in the NNR are the Scottish Woodants (Formica aquilonia). Their nests are easily seen along trails through the Glen Nant NNR as it is constructed using twigs and other debris. These remarkable structures provide the ants with the right temperature and humidity conditions as well as protection.
As previously mentioned, Glen Nant National Nature Reserve saw much activity in the past. In fact, researchers have discovered some 166 sites of archaeological significance in the area. Iron smelting in the woods began back in the 17th century, however, there are foundations for structures dating to the 7th century. Way back in the Norse period the woods were likely used for longbows and the construction of stilt houses situated in Loch Awe. Between 1753 and 1880 much of the woodland of Glen Nant was felled to provide charcoal for the well-known Bonawe Iron Furnace. Over time these trees have regrown and are once again standing proud.
Visitors to Glen Nant NNR will enjoy the woodland interpretive trail as well as several other light trails along the river. Be sure to bring your camera when visiting Glen Nant as you will want to record this wonderful adventure.