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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
  • Close up shot of geese that arrive in autumn
    Geese that arrive in autumn - Image © Ian Hay (www.creativewildlife.co.uk)
  • 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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148 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Mountains Animal Sanctuary

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Kirriemuir

    Visit the largest re-homing and adoption centre for horses, ponies and donkeys in Scotland, set in beautiful surroundings.

  2. Isle Of Eigg

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Small Isles - Eigg, Rhum, Muck, Canna

    A lush island lying of the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, Eigg is sometimes described as ‘the emerald of the Inner Hebrides’.

  3. RSPB Mersehead Reserve

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Wildlife Experience
    4 Wildlife Experience

    Dalbeattie

    Situated on the scenic north shore of the Solway coast, RSPB Mersehead Reserve is an extensive wetland and saltmarsh area and haven for breeding waders, wintering waterfowl and year-round bird and wildlife-watching.

  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. Handa Island

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Scourie

    Managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve, Handa Island is a beautiful place and a fantastic day trip.

  6. Mar Lodge Estate

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Braemar

    This large estate is part of the core area of the Cairngorms, internationally recognised as the most important nature conservation landscape in the British Isles.

  7. Gradings

    • 3 Visitor Attraction
    3 Visitor Attraction

    Lochwinnoch

    Easily access to Great walking country plus wildlife watching of Hen Harriers by CCTV.

  8. Forsinard Nature Reserve - RSPB

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    • 4 Visitor Attraction
    4 Visitor Attraction

    Caithness and North Coast Sutherland area

    RSPB Nature Reserve at Forsinard in the Flow Country ~ wildlife trails and guided walks with birds, animals and flowers in these extensive peatlands.

  9. Glen Affric

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Cannich

    A magical mix of native pinewoods, glistening lochs and haunting moorland.

  10. Erraid Wood

    Type

    Nature Centres & Reserves

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Erraid Wood is a small woodland on the slopes of the Pentland Hills to the south of Edinburgh.

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