Discover wildlife in Knapdale, home of the Scottish beavers!. Our unique off-grid centre in the Atlantic Rainforest is home to a dazzling array of wildlife and environments. Let us provide you with up-to-the-minute, face-to-face information on everything this undiscovered corner of Scotland has to offer.
Access to the building will be restricted to one person/group at a time. There will be an extra covered 'waiting area'. For the foreseeable future there will be a 'look, don't touch' policy in regard to all exhibits and artefacts. Unfortunately, we cannot offer any of our children's hands-on activities at present, but there will be spotter sheets and activities to take away.
All visitors must wear a mask/face covering when in the centre to comply with Scottish Government regulations. A one-way system will operate to enable visitors to approach and leave the building without having to meet on any of the narrow paths. You will still be able to watch the wildlife on the feeders, pick up lots of great information about things to see and do and buy anything from an OS map to a fluffy pine marten.
We are 'good to go' and look forward to seeing you soon. Pete and Oly
Visit Knapdale, Scotland's Nature Treasure Chest. Within our stunning mosaic of forest, coast, loch, moorland and seashore are all of Scotland's iconic animals: Golden eagles, red squirrels, otters, pine martens, red deer, harbour seals, hen harriers, ospreys and basking sharks. Our Atlantic Rainforests teem with life from tree top to forest floor. One glen may hold 100s of species of lichens, bryophytes and fungi. Lungwort, yellow specklebelly, Wilson's filmy fern, hazel gloves, dog tooth lichen; the names are as strange and wonderful as the lives of these organisms. Rare butterflies such as marsh fritillaries have a stronghold here along with purple hairstreaks and hawk moths.
Knapdale is famous, of course, for the Scottish Beaver Trial that ran from 2009-14. The beavers are here to stay and more have recently been introduced into the area. At Barrandaimh we are perfectly placed to guide you to the centre of their activities. We are located in a 400-year old farm building in Knapdale Forest, just a few hundred metres from the nearest beaver lodge. Later additions include a cruck-frame barn and what must be Scotland's most unique composting toilet, built in the style of a Norwegian mountain hut.
We run a series of guided walks and events throughout the year to explore the habitat of these amazing engineers and the many animals and plants that benefit from their activities.
So if you want to meet our local moths, listen to our bats, explore our seashores and ponds or discover the weird and wonderful world of fungi we will have an activity to suit. We also have lots of children's activities at the centre from things to make and do, special events and discovery packs for them to create their own adventures.
At our centre you will find expert information on where to get the best chance of sighting anything from an otter to an adder. We can also tell you all you need to know about Knapdale's other unique attractions. Man has left his mark on this unique environment as well. From standing stones and castles to chapels and clearance villages this part of Argyll is packed with the signs of 5,000 years of turbulent history.
One of the frequent comments in our visitor book is 'I wish I could stay for longer, there is so much to see'. Let us help you discover Knapdale, biodiversity at its best.
Follow the B841 through Cairnbaan to Bellanoch, turn left onto B8025 signed Tayvallich, after 1.4 miles you will see a sign for ’visitor centre’ take left turn down aggregate forestry track signed posted ’Wildlife Visitor Centre’. 600m along track you will find our car park next to the wind vane.
You can also access the centre on foot from Forestry and Land Scotland car-park at Barnluasgan by following the route around Loch Barnluasgan and turning up the hill at the southern end (signed for our centre and the spectacular viewpoint at the end of this trail).
There is a regular bus service that runs between Lochgilphead and Tayvallich. We are 800m from the stop at the Forestry and Land Scotland car park at Barnluasgan. The centre is signed from the car-park across the road from where the bus stops. Please ensure you check current timetables as they may have been affected due to the Covid outbreak.
Join us from £8 per year and receive 10% off charges for all of our regular walks and activities.
Membership details at: http://www.heartofargyllwildlife.org/involved.php