Detailed plans for the last in a series of roadside viewing sites overlooking Caithness and Sutherland’s unique ‘Flow Country’ have been submitted to Highland Council.

The proposal, developed by the Peatlands Partnership as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Flows to the Future Project, aims to develop a small roadside car park and viewpoint on the eastern flank of Cnoc Craggie, overlooking Loch Craggie on the remote and scenic A836. The site is part of the Ben Loyal Estate, owned by Wildland Limited.

The Cnoc Craggie viewing platform will complete the project, creating a total of six roadside locations within Caithness and Sutherland where the public can experience and learn about the peatlands. Once complete, each site – four of which will feature new viewing platforms – will provide interpretation and seating points designed to encourage visitors and locals alike to stop and enjoy the views of the spectacular landscapes, whilst providing information on the peatlands and their importance to Scotland’s natural heritage.

In keeping with each of the five other installations, which have already received planning permission, the Cnoc Craggie platform will be designed with concentric, flowing shapes to fit in with the distinctive pools and terrain of the landscape in which it sits.

Caroline Eccles, Project Manager for Flows to the Future Project commented: “We’re delighted that the Peatlands Partnership’s Flows to the Future Project has been able to team up with Wildland Limited to develop the Cnoc Craggie viewpoint during 2018. Our shared aim is to create a greater appreciation for one of Britain’s most important natural assets, including an awareness of carbon capture, conservation and habitat.

“Creating outdoor viewpoints with interpretation and seating points will encourage visitors and locals to stop and enjoy the views of the spectacular landscapes whilst educating them through informative interpretation on the importance of peatlands. With increased knowledge of the peatlands it is hoped that a much greater support for sustaining them into the future will also be achieved.”

Thomas MacDonell, Director of Conservation and Forestry at Wildland Limited added: “Wildland Limited is absolutely committed to ecological rehabilitation, excellence in habitat restoration and wildlife conservation on its estates and that’s why we’re actively supporting the use of Cnoc Craggie as the location of the final Flows to the Future viewing platform.

“The site has been chosen for its spectacular scenery and visitors will be able to enjoy some truly inspiring panoramic views over Loch Craggie and the surrounding Flow Country.

“We’re particularly pleased that the site will offer interpretation that introduces the Flow Country on a number of themes, including its importance in managing climate change and biodiversity. It will also have the benefit of being remote yet completely accessible, with a small car park and full wheelchair access to the platform.”

It is planned that construction of each of the six platforms in the new trail will commence in late spring 2018.