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Forestry Commission Scotland has renovated and upgraded the wildlife viewing hide at Kylerhea – and given an object lesson in the art of re-using and recycling.
The former otter hide on Skye, looking across the Kyle Rhea, now boasts a new mammal trail, new interpretation and a live TV feed that sends footage of wildlife to the Brightwater Centre in Kyleakin run by the Eilean Ban Trust.
The original hide – built in the late 80s – was well promoted, well known and well used but after 20 years it was in need of a ‘make-over’.
Jack Mackay, Community Recreation & Tourism Manager in IRS, said:
“There is a wide range of wildlife to be seen around the site – including the famous and much loved otters - and we realised that with a little bit of time and attention, we could create something that offered more of a visitor experience.
“We’ve put in new doors and windows - and added windows -, we’ve put in newly designed interpretation and added bilingual signage along the mammal trail route and in the car park. There is also a lovely new centrepiece of a wooden carving of an otter – which still hasn’t been given a name!
“We’ve also increased the accessibility of the site so that people of all abilities can come along and enjoy a few hours at the hide. The refurbishment will make the wildlife hide a must-see for visitors and will hopefully draw more people to the area, which will be good for local businesses and the local economy.”
Twenty invited guests attended the official opening of the hide, include attendees from Kyleakin Connections a local centre which encourages those with learning disabilities to develop their independence in the community.
Charlene Macleod, Manager at Kyleakin Connections, said:
"We were really delighted to be asked to share in the opening of the upgraded Forestry Commission’s Kylerhea Wildlife Viewing Hide. It is a fantastic facility for all the family to enjoy and offers such a great insight into the wildlife in this area."
The visitors’ book at the hide is already showing great feedback – and people are recording their sightings of otters and seals.
Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate and manages the 660,000 hectare national forest estate, protect, enhancing and expanding Scotland’s forests and woodlands in ways that deliver benefits to people, communities, biodiversity and the economy. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
1) Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a’ riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland