The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Water great place to learn about wildlife in Angus

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Montrose Basin Visitor Centre is celebratin­g its 20th anniversar­y this weekend with a free open day for all the family to enjoy.

The four-star Angus attraction will open its doors to the public for free on Saturday to encourage as many people as possible to come and experience the centre.

The basin is home to a huge diversity of species and the visitor centre is perfectly situated to give the best vantage point for viewing wildlife across the entire basin.

Montrose Basin is an enclosed estuary of the river South Esk, covering 750 hectares and attracting over 50,000 migratory birds including pink-footed geese, Arctic terns, knots and sedge warblers.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust purchased Montrose Basin in 1976 and in 1981 the basin became a nature reserve. Proposals for a visitor centre were approved in 1984 and the centre was officially opened by the late broadcaste­r and keen naturalist Magnus Magnusson on June 27 1995.

The 20th anniversar­y open day will celebrate the hard work of staff, volunteers, the local community and businesses over the past two decades, supporting the centre in its efforts to connect the public with nature.

The centre has seen many milestones, including the introducti­on of new teaching and naturalist programmes in May 2000 and the constructi­on of a sand martin bank in early 2002.

It closed on two occasions between December 2002 and June 2004 for improvemen­ts such as the installati­on of a lift, the creation of a dipping pond, a new front desk and lights for the mezzanine.

More recently, cameras and audio recorders have been installed at various locations in the basin and earlier this year the sand martin bank was renovated.

Throughout the school holidays the centre will be holding Wild about the Basin events every Wednesday.

Youngsters can hunt for the creatures that make the basin their home and the weekly theme will be posted on the visitor centre’s Facebook page.

Activities include “pondamoniu­m” and mud glorious mud. Admission is £4 for children.

 ?? Pictures: Andy Wakelin. ?? Above: youngsters mud digging at Montrose Basin and left: the basin’s visitor centre, which this weekend celebrates its 20th anniversar­y with a series of events.
Pictures: Andy Wakelin. Above: youngsters mud digging at Montrose Basin and left: the basin’s visitor centre, which this weekend celebrates its 20th anniversar­y with a series of events.
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