Abernethy nature reserve

Scotland

Scotland is amazing for wildlife. The variety of species and habitats is outstanding - our work here helps protect them.

From golden eagles to otters, red squirrels to wintering geese and huge seabird colonies, you can find them all set among rugged mountains, moorland, ancient Caledonian pine forests and miles of coastline.

On these pages you can find all the information you need that will help you explore the breadth of our work, where we are active in Scotland, the habitats and species we are helping to look after and keep in good health,  and how you, too, can help to give nature a home.

 

Check out our reserves map below and plan a visit – we are privileged enough to own or manage some of the most magical places in Scotland. You can also discover the difficulties currently facing Scotland’s nature, and how you can support us in our goal to improve the environment for us all.

Places to visit

To find out more, pick a marker from the map or zoom in.
    • Aberfoyle ospreys

      Aberfoyle ospreys

      Three thousand miles is a long way to fly just to get on telly. In March and April, we ospreys fly all the way over from Africa to raise a family right here in the romantic Trossachs where there is a perfect nest site waiting for us.

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    • Ailsa Craig

      Ailsa Craig

      Ailsa Craig lies nine miles offshore, rising to 1,109 feet. The dramatic seacliffs are home to the third largest gannetry in the UK - comprising 36,000 pairs - with a supporting cast of guillemots, razorbills, black guillemots and puffins.

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    • Argaty red kites

      Argaty red kites

      See red, and join me for a scrap at feeding time.Gliding and spiralling, soaring and diving on our huge wings, you might think we're taking it easy. But don't be fooled. One sight of food, and all you'll see is a flash of red plumage.

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    • Balranald

      Balranald

      This beautiful Hebridean reserve has sandy beaches, rocky foreshore, marshes and sand-dunes. An information centre explains the importance of traditional crofting agriculture for corncrakes and other wildlife.

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    • Baron's Haugh

      Baron's Haugh

      A real gem for wildlife and for visitors, too. Spend time in one of the four hides, looking out at the ducks and swans on the haugh, or take a walk through the woods. If you're lucky you may even see a kingfisher or an otter on the river.

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    • Birsay Moors

      Birsay Moors

      If you enjoy the solemn grandeur of moorland landscape, the Orkney moors can be a wonderful place to visit, full of wild and windswept beauty. Come during the summer to see hen harriers, short-eared owls and elegant Arctic skuas nesting.

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    • Brodgar

      Brodgar

      Could there be a more spellbinding and mystical setting? This reserve surrounds the monument of the ring of Brodgar. Visit during the summer and hear the unmistakable bubbling cries of the curlews and the drumming of the snipe.

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    • Broubster Leans

      Broubster Leans

      A diverse mosaic of wet grassland, pools, channels and rush pasture, nestled in farmland, making it an ideal place for wildlife.

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    • Coll

      Coll

      Stroll down a shell-white beach, marvel at the summer colour as the flowers bloom along the sand dunes, and keep your eyes peeled for the most elusive of birds - the corncrake.

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    • Corrimony

      Corrimony

      Watch the black grouse springtime courtship displays, see the crested tits and look out for the Scottish crossbill, the only UK bird that's found in no other country.

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    • Cottascarth and Rendall Moss

      Cottascarth and Rendall Moss

      If you'd like to visit a remote, tranquil wildlife haven, and enjoy the chance to see majestic raptors such as hen harriers and merlins, this is the place to come.

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    • Crook of Baldoon

      Crook of Baldoon

      The view that opens up in front of you is breathtaking. Cairnsmore of Fleet and the Galloway Hills act as a backdrop to wild saltmarsh and mudflats which positively ooze with birdlife.

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    • Culbin Sands

      Culbin Sands

      Truly get away from it all at this remote and unspoilt reserve. Come during the winter and you'll see sea ducks feeding offshore, while from late summer to late spring, large numbers of bar-tailed godwits, oystercatchers and knots flock.

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    • Dolphinwatch Aberdeen

      Dolphinwatch Aberdeen

      Intelligence, acrobatic ability and good looks, us bottlenose dolphins have it all. Watch us from the high vantage point of Torry Battery, Aberdeen, where you'll discover panoramic views of the harbour mouth and North Sea.

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    • Dunnet Head

      Dunnet Head

      The most northerly point in mainland Britain, Dunnet Head has stunning sea cliffs and coastal grassland. These are home to puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, kittiwakes, shags and cormorants.

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    • Fairy Glen

      Fairy Glen

      Walk by a fast stream and gleaming waterfalls in this wooded glen, looking for grey wagtails, dippers and buzzards. This beautiful steep-sided valley is an oasis of calm, but do take care as paths are rugged in places.

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    • Fetlar

      Fetlar

      The whole island of Fetlar is a haven for flora and fauna, and a great place to come exploring. Along the coast you might be lucky enough to see otters. The island is full of birds in summer.

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    • Fidra

      Fidra

      A small, rocky island in the Firth of Forth, part of the Forth Islands Special Protection Area and home to a range of breeding seabirds including over 1,500 pairs of puffins, 500 guillemots, 100 razorbills and 150 shags.

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    • Forsinard Flows

      Forsinard Flows

      A threatened landscape, peatlands have vanished across much of Scotland, but the RSPB is helping to preserve this vital area of internationally important habitat. Summer is the time to come.

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    • Fowlsheugh

      Fowlsheugh

      If you're new to birdwatching, what better way to see the beauty of birds close up than by visiting a seabird cliff colony? The spectacular cliffs at Fowlsheugh are packed with 130,000 breeding seabirds in the spring and summer.

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    • Galloway Kite Trail

      Galloway Kite Trail

      We'll be wheeling silently overhead while you're enjoying a cracking adventure on the spectacular Galloway Kite Trail.

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    • Glenborrodale

      Glenborrodale

      Here on the shore of Loch Sunart, on the rugged Ardnamurchan peninsula, wood warblers nest in the spring, along with redstarts, spotted flycatchers and other woodland birds. You may well see an otter along the shore, and seals are common.

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    • Highland Black Grouse

      Highland Black Grouse

      At around sunrise throughout most of the year, us male black grouse gather at traditional display sites to shake our tail feathers, in the hope of impressing the ladies.

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    • Hobbister

      Hobbister

      This reserve is a magical mixture of land and sea, from sea cliffs to saltmarsh, from moorland to sandflats. Stroll through the moorland and you may well see hen harriers, short-eared owls and red-throated divers, all of which nest here.

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    • Hoy

      Hoy

      This mixture of moorland and cliff tops may be exposed to the elements, so you really do need to wrap up warm, but a visit is very rewarding. You'll see the famous Old Man of Hoy rock stack.

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    • Insh Marshes

      Insh Marshes

      Insh Marshes National Nature Reserve is one of the most important wetlands in Europe. Enjoy a springtime stroll and look out for nesting lapwings, redshanks and curlews, or visit in the wintertime when the marsh floods.

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    • Inversnaid

      Inversnaid

      Inversnaid is on the east shore of Loch Lomond, where oak woodland rises steeply from the loch and gives way to open moorland with spectacular views. In the summer months you might see pied flycatchers here, as well as buzzards.

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    • Ken-Dee Marshes

      Ken-Dee Marshes

      With stunning views across the River Dee and Loch Ken, this tranquil reserve plays host to many exciting winter visitors, including Greenland white-fronted and greylag geese. Spring is also an excellent time to visit.

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    • Kylerhea Sea Eagles

      Kylerhea Sea Eagles

      Let us introduce you to the biggest bird of prey in the British Isles: the magnificent white-tailed eagle!

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    • Loch Garten, Abernethy

      Loch Garten, Abernethy

      When ospreys returned to breed in Scotland, this ancient Caledonian pineforest is where they chose to come. The Loch Garten Osprey Centre provides fantastic views of these magnificent birds on the nest.

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    • Loch Gruinart

      Loch Gruinart

      There's always plenty to see at Loch Gruinart. In autumn, thousands of white-fronted and barnacle geese arrive from Greenland. When they leave in spring, wading birds take centre stage.

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    • Loch Leven

      Loch Leven

      Part of the Loch Leven National Nature Reserve, this is an ideal day out for all the family. Visit our hides for close-up views of wildlife.

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    • Loch Lomond

      Loch Lomond

      RSPB Loch Lomond is one of the best places for wildlife in Scotland. On the southeast shores of Loch Lomond, the site has a remarkable mix of habitats.

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    • Loch of Kinnordy

      Loch of Kinnordy

      This shallow loch is situated in a natural basin surrounded by farmland and attracts all types of wildlife. One favourite summer visitor is the osprey, which you can see fishing around the loch.

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    • Loch of Spiggie

      Loch of Spiggie

      A visit to the Loch of Spiggie shows you just what a wonderful variety of birds and wildlife rely on Scottish lochs for their survival. If you visit in summer, you'll see Arctic terns and great skuas bathing in the water.

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    • Loch of Strathbeg

      Loch of Strathbeg

      Britain's largest dune loch is a joy to visit any time of year. In winter, thousands of wild geese, swans and ducks fly in, including 20 per cent of the world's population of pink-footed geese - it's a sight you'll never forget.

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    • Loch Ruthven

      Loch Ruthven

      This beautiful, tranquil loch is fringed by sedges and birch woods. Visit us in early spring, when our must-see bird, the rare Slavonian grebe, looks its best in gorgeous red and golden plumage, the jewel of the Highland Lochs.

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    • Lochwinnoch

      Lochwinnoch

      As one of the few wetlands left in west Scotland, Lochwinnoch is an ideal day out for all the family. It's the perfect spot to watch whooper swans, wigeons and a wide variety of ducks during the winter months.

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    • Marwick Head

      Marwick Head

      This remote headland has spectacular displays of wild flowers, including sea campion, thrift and spring squill. In spring and summer, thousands of seabirds nest on the cliffs. In August, look out for great yellow bumblebees.

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    • Meikle Loch

      Meikle Loch

      This reserve is important for its wintering wildfowl, particularly the large roost of pink-footed geese that occurs in the winter months. A variety of passage waders and wildfowl also use the site and ospreys and marsh harriers may be seen.

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    • Mersehead

      Mersehead

      Discover the breathtaking scenery and wildlife that's typical of this region. Stroll along the nature trails and use the viewing hides to explore at your own pace.

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    • Mill Dam, Shapinsay

      Mill Dam, Shapinsay

      This is an ideal place for birds throughout the year. In summer, you'll see large numbers of breeding wildfowl, including pintails, redshanks and wigeons, while in the winter migrating whooper swans and other birds visit.

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    • Mousa

      Mousa

      Visiting Mousa is an unforgettable experience. On the short ferry ride to the island, you might be fortunate enough to see harbour porpoises and other marine mammals. In August, the island is home to over 200 hauled-out common seals.

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    • Mull Eagle Watch

      Mull Eagle Watch

      I make the best first impression. And once we've met, you'll always remember me. I'm the one with the 2.5 metre wingspan, and (not to boast) when I move, I OWN the sky.

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    • Mull of Galloway

      Mull of Galloway

      Everywhere you turn there's a stunning view. To the west is the Solway Firth and Irish Sea, with the Isle of Man in the distance, while all around you is the frenzied activity of a large cliff colony of seabirds.

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    • Nigg Bay

      Nigg Bay

      Nigg Bay is an extensive area of mudflat, saltmarsh and wet grassland on the Cromarty Firth. Visit any time between October and March and you're sure to see countless wading birds, such as bar-tailed godwits and knots.

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    • North Hill

      North Hill

      Situated on the island of Papa Westray, North Hill may seem remote but it's a very exciting place to come and visit. The reserve is home to an extremely rare plant, the Scottish primrose.

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    • Noup Cliffs

      Noup Cliffs

      Reaching over 76 metres above the sea, these dramatic cliffs house Orkney's largest seabird colony. Once seen, it's never forgotten! Walk along the cliff path in the summer and you'll see an array of wildflowers.

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    • Onziebust

      Onziebust

      Come during the spring and summer and you will see a wonderfully exuberant display of summer flowers and possibly the rare great yellow bumblebee.

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    • Sumburgh Head

      Sumburgh Head

      Visit these cliffs during the summer and you'll be privileged to witness the amazing spectacle of thousands of breeding seabirds, including puffins, guillemots and shags. Sumburgh Head is a great place to watch for whales and dolphins.

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    • The Loons and Loch of Banks

      The Loons and Loch of Banks

      The Loons and Loch of Banks are the largest remaining wetlands in Orkney, and the perfect places to see wetland wildlife at its best. Enjoy the tranquillity of pools surrounded by yellow flag iris.

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    • The Oa

      The Oa

      Rugged coastline and open moorland. The diversity of landscapes make this reserve a pleasure to visit. If you're new to birdwatching, why not come on one of our guided walks - you might see a rare chough or perhaps a golden eagle.

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    • Tollie Red Kites

      Tollie Red Kites

      With stunning views across Easter Ross to Ben Wyvis, Tollie Red Kites provides close-up views of our most graceful bird of prey. A team of volunteers feed the birds every day and you can watch them in comfort.

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    • Troup Head

      Troup Head

      The high cliffs of Troup Head provide a spectacular setting for Scotland's only mainland gannet colony. There are also thousands of kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills, along with several other species, including puffins.

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    • Trumland

      Trumland

      The best time to visit this typical piece of Orkney moorland is during the summer months, when you should see breeding red-throated divers, hen harriers, merlins and short-eared owls.

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    • Udale Bay

      Udale Bay

      From late summer to April you can see thousands of wildfowl and wading birds here. Come an hour or two either side of high tide to be rewarded with spectacular views of flocks of flying birds.

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    • Wood of Cree

      Wood of Cree

      The Wood of Cree is the largest ancient wood in southern Scotland. In spring, the woodland really comes alive, with bluebells on the ground and birdsong in the air. The wood is the perfect place to see willow tits.

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    Osprey emerging from water with fish

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