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Wildlife Disturbed at Loch of the Lowes

Photo Credit: Skyler Ewing

The Scottish Wildlife Trust is asking people to respect the outdoors when they pass through sensitive parts of their nature reserves.

Their calling on visitors to be more careful after people with a canoe and paddleboards disturbed a protected species by the Loch of the Lowes.

Osprey birds use the reserve to nest because of the long summer nights and abundant food source, but they are easily disturbed by humans says the trust.

Emma Castle-Smith, Visitor Centre Assistant Manager at Lowes, said: “The warning signs are there to protect wildlife on the reserve. As well as ospreys, there are a wide range of other species that come to Lowes to breed such as great crested grebes, and disturbing them at this critical time of year can massively affect their chances of breeding success.

“Choosing to ignore these warning signs also ruins the responsible wildlife watching experience that thousands of people come here to enjoy each year.”

They’re emphasising that the damage which can be don goes beyond the landscape itself but the delicate lives which live nearby.

Trust Reserves Manager, Rab Potter, said: “The Scottish Outdoor Access Code makes it clear that a person must not cause intentional disturbance to birds and other animals when accessing land or water. By ignoring warning signs that highlight the disturbance risk to wildlife, it’s clear that some selfish individuals are not acting responsibly.

“We strongly encourage everyone to access the great outdoors responsibly and pay attention to any warning signs that are in place to help protect wildlife.”

The Scottish Outdoor Access code does let people enjoy the right to explore the rural countryside, but it also demands that people respect the responsibility which comes with that.

A spokesperson for the trust added: “The Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which details a person’s rights and responsibilities in accessing land and water in Scotland, states that responsible access includes following any information aimed at preventing significant disturbance to wildlife and that intentional disturbance can be an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.”

More information on this can be found on: https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/

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