COVID-19 update: The trails and hide are open. Access to this reserve relies on local ferry services from mainland Orkney. Please follow the guidance on site regarding distancing and maximum numbers in the hides. Masks should be worn inside the hide unless exempt. All of Scotland’s wild places and green spaces are vital for the survival of its unique, amazing wildlife. If you plan to head out to these areas please respect and protect Scotland’s great outdoors and leave no trace. Thank you. #RespectProtectEnjoy #ScottishOutdoorAccessCode #CheckBeforeYouGo
Welcome to RSPB Scotland Mill Dam nature reserve. This natural marsh was dammed in the 1880s, providing an ideal habitat for birds throughout the year.
In summer, you'll see large numbers of breeding wildfowl and waders, including pintail, shoveler, tufted duck and wigeon, plus redshank, curlew, snipe and lapwing. While in winter large flocks of wigeon, teal, mallard and greylag geese find refuge in the marsh, plus regular visits from hunting hen harriers. It's a great day out for all the family, with plenty of information about the reserve available in the hide.
The hide is open at all times but there is no access to the reserve itself.
Free, but donations to help us continue our work here are welcome.
For more information on the accessibility of this reserve please visit: https://www.accessibilityguides.org/content/rspb-scotland-mill-dam
Information for families
Our hide has spectacular elevated views of the reserve and lots for children to see all year round. An added attraction are a small herd of Asian water buffalo which graze the reserve in summer, and a group of Irish cob ponies which graze the reserve in the winter months.
Information for dog owners
This nature reserve is important for wildlife. RSPB Scotland welcomes responsible access, in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. During the ground-nesting bird breeding season (1 April to 15 August) we would ask that you keep your dog close to you, preferably on a short lead and please clean up after your dog.