|Calcicole||A plant species or community associated with calcium–rich soils.|
|Caledonian||The ancient woodland covering the Scottish Highlands, often dominated by Scots pine, of which Rothiemurchus and Abernethy are considered relict fragments. Also, a mountain–building period in the Cambrian epoch.|
|Caledonides||High mountain chain formed across the north of Scotland, typically with a south–west/north–east trend, during the Caledonian mountain–building period, about 450 million years ago.|
|Catchment||Another term used to describe the drainage basin of a river system. The land within a high watershed that drains into the same network of burns feeding a river.|
|Clearances||A period in the history of the Highlands and Islands associated with agricultural improvements at the end of the eighteenth century. The new landowners following the Jacobite rebellions wanted to rear sheep in large numbers. The existing tenants, already rearing cattle, were 'cleared out' to the coast, the new industrial cities or the New World. This was often forcefully implemented, by fire and fear, and there was no compensation|
|Climate||The long-term character of weather conditions in a particular location - temperature, moisture, air pressure, sunshine/cloud cover|
|Climax||The final vegetation cover of an area over a period of plant succession, e.g. open water, marsh, carr woodland, climax woodland|
|Cold-based glacier||A glacier frozen to its base – no meltwater is produced and basal sliding does not occur. Such glaciers move by internal deformation alone, with little ability to modify its bed.|
|Consensus-building||A problem–solving process, whereby participants with different interests and opinions are brought to a point of agreement on particular universal points, through debate and sharing information and perspectives; they may agree to differ.|
|Conservation||Management that ensures the protection and enhancement of natural or human artefacts – in this case nature conservation of habitats and species found in the Cairngorms|
|Convective||Of rain, caused by heated air rising very rapidly, then cooling quickly to form large water droplets.|
|Cornice||A mass of snow, hardened by the wind, overhanging a vertical drop. Found especially around the lip of a corrie.|
|Corrie||Scottish name for a mountain feature, like a bite from an apple, caused by glacial erosion – ice plucking and overdeepening of frost–shattered bedrock. Also known as cwm (Wales) or cirque (France)|
Contraction fissure created as granite cooled. Escaping gas left behind cavities or pockets.
This a climate that is characterized by winter temperatures cold enough to support a fixed period of snow cover each year, and relatively moderate precipitation occurring mostly in summer.