River Dee is a river in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It springs in the Cairngorms and runs through Strathdee to reach the North Sea at Aberdeen. The general area is known as Strathdee, Deeside, or "Royal Deeside" in the zone between Braemar and Banchory because Queen Victoria came to care for the place and designed Balmoral Castel there. The area includes nationally infrequent samples of pine woods, birch woods and heather moors with related wildlife. On the valley floor there are deciduous alder and blended broadleaved forests, and grasslands. Otter and freshwater mussel are among the animal species under threat. It is a notorious salmon stream, having a succession of various pools, crossed by sharp rapids.