An abandoned colliery site near Bo’ness has been given
official local nature reserve status by Scottish Natural Heritage.
A Perthshire nature reserve has given a facelift to its visitor facilities to help them blend into the landscape.
The old 1970s visitor centre and car park at the Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve have been removed.
The National Trust for Scotland has now restored the site to moorland, with a new car park placed in a less visible site within a woodland setting.
New information signs have also been created, designed to be more sympathetic to the surroundings.
The design of these new structures takes inspiration from ruined shielings, small buildings where farmers lived when their livestock were grazing in the hills, found across the reserve.
The work to restore the site was started by the Trust in autumn 2010.
Property Manager Helen Cole said:
“Ben Lawers is one of Scotland’s most popular walking destinations, with seven Munros, fabulous views over Loch Tay and a huge diversity of plant and animal life.
“We hope these new facilities will enable the Trust to meet its key aims of encouraging everyone to explore their natural heritage, while ensuring that we protect Scotland’s landscape for future generations.”
Story by BBC SCOTLAND
FWN would like to extend a warm welcome to our latest reporter, Brember Turner.
Brember is our specialist Reporter here and is an amazing macro photographer, here he is with Colin on a ‘Macro Safari’ along the banks of the River Forth.
We look forward to reading Brember’s stories in the near future.
David Marshall Lodge offers ranger led events, which occur throughout the year. These include guided walks and talks and seasonal activities for families and visitors. Waymarked paths start from the visitor centre and range from a gentle half-mile wander to a 4-mile trek. The Lodge links to the National Cycle Network route 7 and there is a popular outdoor children?s play area. The wildlife viewing room offers the opportunity to see Ospreys setting up their nest and rearing their young. There is information, exhibits and an expert on hand to answer questions.
Live footage of woodland birds feeding is also available.
The new Red Squirrel hide offers an exciting chance to view these rare creatures in their natural habitat.
Loch of the Lowes
A large freshwater loch with a diverse aquatic flora, fringed by areas of fen, reedbeds and semi-natural woodland.
The centre is run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and what a fantastic job they do, from warm,friendly staff who are most knowledgeable on all things wild, to the clean and vibrant wildlife centre which is right next to the various hides on the waters edge. You can observe the Osprey nest on the other side of the bank, while inside the top hide, is a live video-stream of a close-up of the nest.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust is a registered charity dedicated to conserving the wildlife and natural environment of Scotland. It has more than 120 reserves throughout Scotland with visitor centres at Loch of the Lowes (Perth and Kinross), Montrose Basin (Angus) and the Falls of Clyde (South Lanarkshire).
As well as providing homes for wildlife these sites are valuable places for people to interact with and enjoy wildlife. The Scottish Wildlife Trust is part of a trial reintroduction of the beaver to Scotland, begun in 2009. The Trial will run until 2014. The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s other major project is to protect the red squirrel in Scotland.
OSPREY’S ON LOCH OF THE LOWES
The chick continues to develop well and is getting so big it hardly fits under his mother- though the female will continue to use her body to shield it from the weather until it is fully feathered and more waterproof. You can check out the live video stream on the link below.