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Spring is here and it’s time to get out and about and enjoy some fun, fresh air and fascinating fauna!
And if there’s one place where you’ll be guaranteed to get all you want from a day in the great outdoors, it’s the Huntly Peregrine Wild Watch.
Run by Forestry Commission Scotland, the centre is easily accessible on the A96 between Elgin and Aberdeen, and is the place to go if you want a peaceful, relaxing place to watch some of Scotland's amazing native wildlife – or if you want some fun, family focused activities.
Angie Smith, who manages the centre said:
“It really is a hidden gem of a place that offers an outdoors and wildlife experience that we reckon is unique in the North East.
“We get visitors here from all age groups – from under 5s to school groups to the over 70s – and there’s something that’ll suit everyone. You can go pond dipping or take part in some family orienteering, be creative or enjoy the walks and the amazing scenery. Or you can bring a picnic and just sit and relax.
“But most of all, this is the place to come if you want to experience some stunning wildlife. ‘Our’ peregrines are the stars of the show – this has been a nesting site for 30 years and since we set up Wildw watch in 2003 19 chicks have been hatched and flown the nest.
“But there are over 40 species of bird and animal living here in their natural surroundings. How many do you think you’ll be able to spot?”
As well as walking the site and seeing what you can spot with your own eyes, you can also take advantage of the remote viewing cameras and the screens in the hide and at the visitor centre.
As well as the peregrines you can keep a look out for red squirrels, pine martins, Roe deer, foxes, sparrow-hawks, and loads of woodland birds…..and newts, frogs, common lizards and much, much more.
Friendly and popular wardens and volunteers are always on site to help bring you closer to the wildlife that is all around us but rarely seen.
The centre is open seven days a week from 1 April until early September and is accessible to all, including to wheelchair users. (The site does include a steep incline but if some visitors cannot manage, we allow 2 cars onsite to transport people up to the hide).
Visiting school groups can take part in tailored programmes that complement curriculum for excellence.
Modest entry charges are applicable –and all funds raised go towards sustaining Huntly Peregrine Wild Watch.
The charges are: adults £3, children (5-15) £1, family ticket (two adults and unlimited children) £7, individual season pass £10 and family season pass £20.
For more information about the centre and what’s on offer, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/huntlyperegrines
Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate.