The landscape surrounding Glencoe Lochan reflects a blend of North American and Scottish Highlands aesthetics due to historical influences and geographical factors. As you move from the eastern to the western shores of the lochan, you will notice a change in the environment that has much to do with the local climate, topography, and human intervention.
The eastern shores of the lochan are closer to the higher grounds and steep slopes of the mountains, like the Tap of Glencoe. This area is characterized by rugged terrain with heather, grasses, and highland flora. The trees here are typically native to Scotland, like Scots pine, and are adapted to handle the rocky soil and harsh weather conditions that can often occur in mountainous regions.
As you transition towards the western shores, you begin to see more of the influence of Lord Strathcona, who transformed this landscape in the late 19th century. Here, you will find a mix of North American tree species, such as Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and mountain hemlock. These trees were planted to help Lord Strathcona's wife feel more at home in the Scottish Highlands, reminiscent of the landscapes in her native Canada. The terrain here is a little less rugged, and the soil is more prosperous due to its closeness to the lochan and lower elevation.
This shift in landscape is thus a mix of natural geographical factors such as elevation, soil type, and climate, along with the significant human influence from historical events.