Aberlady Nature Reserve became the UK’S first local nature reserve in 1952 and is the headquarters of the Scottish Ornithological Club. It also constitutes part of the John Muir Way and is looked after by East Lothian Council. Good quality paths and footbridges take you across the reserve, which is quite extensive so it may take some time to cover it all. In the autumn it can host around 30,000 pink-footed geese who come there to roost. Wheatears, whitethroat and blackcaps all nest there too and redshanks and lapwings are just two of the wading birds that thrive in the bay. As well as a thriving bird population, over 550 species of plant life have been identified in the bay, making it a mecca for botanists as well as ornithologists. When you return to the car park after exploring the reserve, look out for a memorial to novelist Nigel Tranter, who spent many happy hours walking along this stretch of the Lothian coast.