The Cairngorms was made a National Park in September 2003 because it is a unique and special place that needs to be cared for - both for the wildlife and countryside it contains and for the people that live in it, manage it and visit it. It is Britain's largest national Park. The Cairngorms National Park has the largest area of arctic mountain landscape in the UK at its heart, with diverse communities around it. It is home to 16,000 people and 25% of Britain's threatened birds, animals, and plants. It includes moorlands, forests, rivers, lochs and glens.
The Cairngorms National Park is a world renowned area where both residents and visitors can enjoy an unparalleled range of outdoor recreation opportunities. People are free to explore the mountains and glens, the forests and moorlands and the rivers and lochs of the Park. They can do so on foot, in a wheelchair, on horse-back, on a bicycle or even in a boat or canoe, as long as they do so in a responsible manner, with respect for other people and for the environment, and in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.