North Uist

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A NORTH UIST na­ture re­serve is set for a record num­ber of vis­i­tors this sum­mer.

Bal­ranald RSPB na­ture re­serve is cel­e­brat­ing its 50th an­niver­sary this year and has be­come one of the most pop­u­lar tourist lo­ca­tions in the Western Isles.

Fig­ures in­di­cate that the re­serve will have at­tracted more than 15,000 peo­ple by the end of the year.

Jamie Boyle, the RSPB site man­ager for Bal­ranald, said: ‘In­creas­ing num­bers of vis­i­tors are great news for the is­land but we do need to be care­ful. The bird breed­ing sea­son is a pop­u­lar time to visit but it is also the time when the birds are at their most sen­si­tive to dis­tur­bance. We need to man­age the area so that peo­ple can see the wildlife but not get too close.’

RSPB Scot­land runs a pro­gramme of guided walks. Last year these were at­tended by more than 700 peo­ple and pro­vide the chance to see birds and plants of the machair and croft lands.

Stuart Tay­lor, Uist man­ager, said: ‘We hope and ex­pect RSPB Bal­ranald will at­tract even more vis­i­tors in the next 50 years which, in turn, should help to se­cure the pros­per­ity of the vi­tally im­por­tant tourist in­dus­try in these won­der­ful is­lands.’

Bal­ranald visi­tor cen­tre cel­e­brates its 50th an­niver­sary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.