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Loch Lomond wild goose chase

Pink footed Geese (Photo:SNH)

Scottish Natural Heritage is inviting people along for a wild goose chase at the Loch Lomond national nature reserve on 30 January.

The free event, which takes place from 1.30pm until dusk, includes exploring the reserve and surrounding area by mini-bus, trying to spot and count the four species of geese that visit the reserve in winter. This will be followed by watching the geese as they come in to roost at dusk. Participants may attend half or the whole event.

This event must be pre-booked with participants meeting at the Kilmaronock Millennium Hall in Gartocharn.

Stephen Longster, SNH site management officer, said; “It’s a special time of year at the Loch Lomond reserve, with so many geese wintering here. We should be able to spot plenty of activity while the geese are grazing throughout the afternoon, and then catch them settling down to roost at dusk. With some coffee and biscuits thrown in for good measure, it should be a terrific afternoon!”

The four types of geese which winter in Loch Lomond are the Greenland white-fronted, greylag, pink-footed geese, and Canada geese.

Loch Lomond is famous the world over for the beauty of its wooded shores and islands. The reserve includes Inchcailloch and its four neighbouring islands, along with the nearby Endrick Water. The reserve also includes the wetlands around the mouth of the River Endrick. These flood most winters and host good numbers of wildfowl.

Much of the reserve is managed by Scottish Natural Heritage, in cooperation with its owners and occupiers, to protect the woodlands and wetlands and conserve the white-fronted geese and lampreys. The European Union has recognised parts of the reserve as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for its important woodland and the lampreys. The Endrick Mouth has also been designated a Special Protection Area (SPA) for its importance in providing feeding and roosting grounds for large numbers of white-fronted geese.

Places are limited, so booking is essential. To book, contactStephen Longster on either 01786 450362 or STIRLINGNNRS@snh.gov.uk. Outdoor clothing and suitable footwear, as well as binoculars and telescopes if possible, are recommended.

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