The Loch Garten Osprey Centre is the ideal spot to observe these magnificent birds.
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, as well as close up views thanks to our non-invasive CCTV camera.
The reserve also has some excellent walks, with the chance to see red squirrels, dragonflies and crested tits. Early in spring, join us for Caper-watch and see the spectacular display of the capercaillie, Scotland’s largest grouse.
The Osprey Centre is open daily, 10 am–6 pm from April to the end of August. Last entry to the centre is at 5pm. During spring, the centre is also open daily for Caper-watch (to see capercaillies) from 5.30 am to 8 am. Whilst the Osprey Centre is closed out of season, the wider reserve is open all year round.
Osprey Centre charges: adults £4, concessions £2.50, under 16s £1. Family ticket £8 (up to two adults and four children). RSPB and Wildlife Explorer members - free. Caper-watch: adults - non-members £3, members £1, children free.
If you are new to birdwatching...
April to August, ospreys and other wildlife can be easily seen from Osprey Centre. Expert help/interpretative staff always available, as are binoculars and telescopes. Expert-led programme of guided walks (May to August).
Information for families
Osprey Centre interpretation is suitable for all ages. There is a quiz sheet for children, drawing table for tots and low-set telescopes and binoculars.
Information for dog owners
We welcome responsible dog walkers to the reserve. During the ground-nesting bird breeding season (1 April to 15 August) please keep your dog close to you, preferably on a lead. When walking in the forest there are risks of disturbance to capercaillie and their young. We therefore ask you to keep your dog on a lead at all times in these areas. Please note that dogs are not permitted in the Osprey Centre, except guide dogs.
· Visitor centre
· Information centre
· Car park : for up to 40 cars and three coaches. No height restrictions or barriers. Three 'Sheffield-type' bicycle stands.
· Disabled toilets
· Baby-changing facilities
· Live camera
· Group bookings accepted
· Guided walks available
· Remote location
· Good for walking
· Pushchair friendly
The Osprey Centre overlooks the osprey nest. Much other wildlife also seen at and from the Centre.
Path from Osprey Centre car park to Centre is 280 m along a smooth-surfaced, compacted gravel track, easily negotiable by wheelchair. Self-propel and transit wheelchair available and staff assistance if required. Wider network of forest trails not accessible by wheelchair. Red, green and blue trails available: blue (2.5 km) links Osprey Centre with public transport and Speyside Way. Red (2 km) and green (1.5 km) trails are through native pinewood.
Cold drinks, snacks, confectionery
The shop has a range of optical equipment from basic to high definition models; including RSPB, WPG, BGPC and Viking brands. We also stock a range of bird foods and birdcare equipment, a good selection of bird and wildlife books, videos, DVDs and CDs, as well as gifts and souvenirs, including children’s items.
Access to visitor centre
The visitor centre is 350 m from the car park along a wide, rolled stone path with a short section of 1:15 gradient. A 1:20 ramp gives access to the centre.
The Osprey Centre is all on one level with no steps or ramps. There are low-mounted optics and interpretative materials for wheelchair users, and there are a number of different height viewing slots that provide excellent views of nesting ospreys.
Live CCTV pictures of the nest are relayed back to the centre and staff describe what is happening. Telescopes and binoculars are also available to use. Seats are available. Information displays with some tactile elements are easily accessible. The shop is fully accessible to wheelchair users and staff are available to help with purchases. Gift shop aisles and display counters are accessible to wheelchairs.
Toilet facilities are wheelchair accessible. One unisex, adapted toilet 25 m from Osprey Centre car park and 325 m from Osprey Centre.
There are two car parks. The Osprey Centre car park has a rolled, even surface and there are three disabled parking bays. Cars may be driven to the centre entrance by arrangement. Loch Mallachie car park has a natural, even surface.
One available from Osprey Centre. Telephone to pre-book or ask at reception on arrival. Staff are available to help wheelchair users.
Help for visually impaired visitors
Osprey nest microphones provide help for those with a hearing impairment. Staff assistance is also available to provide descriptions of the CCTV pictures.