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Watch this video and see some of Scotland's remarkable wildlife, from timourous red squirrels to playful dolphins.
Great Scottish wildlife

See some of Scotland's remarkable wildlife, from timourous red squirrels to playful dolphins.

  • Looking out over a flock of birds at the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve
    A flock of birds at the Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve
  • A red deer with antlers stands among the reddish brown bracken
    A red deer poses among the bracken
  • The beach and dunes of St Cyrus National Nature Reserve
    St Cyrus National Nature Reserve

As each new season passes, the wildlife in Scotland remains as vibrant and colourful as the last. Nature reserves and hides are some of the best places to immerse yourself in the natural world and get close to some of Scotland's most intricate and endangered species.

From the peace and quiet of a hide, use a pair of binoculars to see magnificent birds of prey, such as a nesting pair of ospreys with their young in their Highland retreat. In some cases, you'll be so close, you'll need only your eyes to take it the awesome sight of passing red deer or elusive otters.

Each reserve is different, with some bathed in tranquility whilst others are a buzz of activity. The seabird colonies of Orkney and Shetland, for instance, are a hubbub of noise and movement as puffins, fulmars, guillemots, Arctic skuas and more breed in cliff faces and feed their young. Wetlands across the country attract all kinds of wildfowl and waders, including migrating pink footed geese who arrive in the autumn.

It's Scotland's diverse landscapes that attracts this variety of wildlife with habitats set amongst rugged mountains and wild moorland, ancient pine forests and along the thousands of miles of coastline.

Browse the listings to plan a visit to the many nature reserves and hides around the country.

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154 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Donmouth Local Nature Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Aberdeen

    Donmouth Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is a beach site found in Old Aberdeen.

  2. Craigower

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Pitlochry

    Craigower is a 4.5 hectare hilltop with open heathland and scattered Scots pines. It is a locally important site for butterflies.

  3. Montrose Basin Visitor Centre

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Montrose

    Montrose Basin is the enclosed estuary of the South Esk River. The reserve includes a 4-star visitor centre along with four remote bird hides.

  4. Ariundle Oakwood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Ardnamurchan

    Ariundle Oakwood is an ancient mossy oakwood, typical of the woodlands which were once widespread along the Atlantic coast.

  5. Galloway Kite Trail

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Castle Douglas

    The trail is a great way to explore scenic, inner Galloway while looking for the spectacular red kite, a bird of prey reintroduced here since 2001. A 24 mile circular road trip, open all year round (plus 14 mile summer trail in Galloway Forest Park).

  6. Loch a’ Mhuilinn

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Caithness and North Coast Sutherland area

    The most northern remnant of native oak woodland in Britain survives on this reserve.

  7. Whitlaw Mosses

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Selkirk

    Enjoy wonderful scenery and a variety of wildlife to spot at Whitlaw Mosses in the Scottish Borders.

  8. RSPB Crook of Baldoon Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Wigtown

    One of RSPB's newest reserves, with a superb view accross the Cree Estuary to the Galloway Hills. The return of geese and waders in winter really brings the merse and coast to life. Breeding skylark and lapwing are common in summer.

  9. Burg

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Mull

    Located on the Isle of Mull, the exposed location of Burg is open to the full force of the Atlantic weather.

  10. Loch Leven RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Kinross

    Loch Leven RSPB is part of Loch Leven National Nature Reserve. The loch is famous for its connections to Mary Queen of Scots and as Scotland’s largest lowland freshwater loch.

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