Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Discover the wild side of Wester Ross

How about watching seals basking on unspoilt shores? Or spotting sea eagles soaring above spectacular Scottish scenery? Perhaps watching for whales and basking sharks on the water? 

Well, there’s an open invitation to experience all of this at Wild About Nature week in Scotland’s Wester Ross.

Organisers are hoping this inaugural week long event, running from 21st-28th June and located in the outstanding landscape of the north west Highlands of Scotland, will appeal to everyone from outdoor enthusiasts and ornithologists to photographers and families.  

A packed programme of daytime and evening events and attractions offers nature lovers an exciting opportunity to answer the call of the wild and discover the fascinations of this unique environment – from rugged mountain peaks to windswept moors and miles of unspoiled shores.
 
For bird lovers, there's a range of guided walks to enjoy - with the moors and shoreline being great places to spot a wide range of species from the willow warblers and wheaters to the skuas and shags – alongside the exciting possibility of seeing Britain’s biggest bird of prey, the rare white tailed sea eagle.  With its impressive eight foot wing span, this beautiful bird has been the subject of successful reintroduction in this area and the week’s Sea Eagle Safari will offer ornithologists one of the best opportunities to see it with their own eyes.

Other attractions for fans of our feathered friends include the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, where visitors will be able to view exclusive footage of Loch Maree’s black throated divers streamed from remote cameras recently placed by Scottish Natural Heritage – an initiative centre manager Kenny Wilson said he hopes will bring people exploring the area “closer to nature”.

Water lovers can choose to kayak on the local lochs, try their hand at sweep netting for sea trout, hauling creels out at sea with a local skpper or take the specially organised Torridon sea tour around the Isle of Rona, while landlubbers can join wildflower and woodland workshops, learn more about the area’s moths and minibeasts, or behold the beauty of bats and butterflies.


Photo - Ken Keith
Photographers are invited to join John MacPherson, creator of acclaimed environmental images, for an al fresco shoot with instruction, or take part in guided deer stalking where the only shots taken will be through a lens.  And those with a passion for the past can take part in an archaeological dig to uncover more about the area’s Highland history and rich Celtic culture. 

Visitors to the festival can also take advantage of all the attractions usually offered in the area, including whale and marine wildlife cruises, glass bottomed boat tours from Gairloch and the exotic plant-filled Inverewe Garden at Poolewe.

Full details of the festival programme can be found at www.wildaboutgairloch.co.uk, along with booking details for events and advice on accommodation.