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Tourism Scotland - Walking in Scotland
Watching Wildlife


Scotland has a wide range of nature reserves, many of which provide facilities for the visitor. There is also the great thrill of seeing wildlife truly 'in the wild'. No visitor to Scotland will ever forget their first sighting of an eagle, or an otter or dolphin. A few tips will help you to get the most out of your visits.
  • Take binoculars and a camera. There are excellent lightweight binoculars and cameras which will not weight you down but give you great opportunities both for observing wildlife and capturing it on film. Many people also take lightweight camcorders nowadays.
  • Select pocket-size field guides which have good colour illustrations to help you identify what you see. You might also like to take a notebook to record what you see while you are out.
  • Check reserves listings for the best season to visit - at Loch of the Lowes and Loch Garten, for example, you want to be there when the ospreys are nesting.
  • Join walks led buy wildlife rangers or wardens, who will help you to see and identify all the local wildlife.
  • In the wild, don't disturb wildlife unnecessarily. Never pick wild flowers - leave them for others to enjoy.
  • Never pick up or move young animals or birds. In summer, you might find young deer hidden in bracken or a small hollow. It is not lost, but has been left there while its mother goes for food. She will return to the scent of the young, but if you move it, she may not find it.
  • Follow the motto 'take only photographs, leave only footprints'.

You will find out more about Scotland's wildlife and visiting nature reserves by contacting:

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Dunedin House, 25 Ravelston Terrace, Edinburgh EH4 3TP Tel: 0131 311 6500 Fax: 0131 311 6569

Scottish Natural Heritage, 12 Hope Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 2AS Tel: 0131 447 4784 Fax: 0131 446 2277

Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cramond House, Cramond Glebe Road, Edinburgh EH4 6NS Tel: 0131 312 7765 Fax: 0131 312 8705

Scottish Crested Tit

A group of walkers climb Jacob's Ladder, near Jedburgh


Tourism | Activity