The Bochel (meaning shepherd in Gaelic) is the large round hill which stands at the entrance to the Braes of Glenlivet. The lower slopes just above the Crombie Water are predominantly birch woodland with juniper. While typical of this part of the Cairngorms this woodland type is scarce elsewhere.
Most likely seen in the early morning or late evening, Brown Hare are common in Glenlivet and may be distinguished from the Rabbit by their larger size, longer legs and black tipped ears. Rabbit are often seen feeding on grass in lower pastures. Look out for their burrows in dry banks. The Common Shrew is active day and night hunting for earthworms and other invertebrates.
Resident birds include Black Grouse, Siskin and many other more common species. During summer they are joined by the rare Ring Ouzel and Grey Wagtail.
In this area you may see some of Glenlivet's resident scavengers, including Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jackdaw and Rook. These pose a significant threat to eggs and young of ground nesting birds such as Grey or Red Legged Partridge and Pheasant.
Situated just below the treeline, birch-juniper woodland like this has a limited distribution in Britain. Aspen, Rowan and self sown Scots Pine also occur whilst Alder and Willow grow along the poorer drained valley bottoms.
Ground vegetation reflects the acid soil conditions and is dominated by Heather, Blaeberry and Cowberry. Wood Sorrel, Chickweed Wintergreen and Oak Fern also thrive here. On some lower slopes better soil conditions are reflected by prolific species such as Wood Anemone, Yellow Pimpernel and Hazel. Areas of dry heath are rich with Bearberry, Bush Vetch and Petty Whin. Sphagnum Mosses, Deer Grass, Purple Moor Grass and Cross-Leaved Heath prefer wetter areas as do Bog Asphodel and Cloudberry.