Our friends at RSPB have put together these top tips on how to be respectful when observing the abundance of wildlife when visiting the National Park.
Now is a perfect time to explore the great outdoors and there is no shortage of amazing landscapes and incredible wildlife to spot in Scotland. Visiting the National Park is an ideal way of getting closer to nature while spending quality time with your family or friends.
Whether you’re a lover of birds or you’re on the hunt for something bigger like deer, it’s important to be mindful of the local habitat and always conduct yourself in a respectful manner. You are the visitor after all!
Here are some useful tips on how to observe nature respectfully on your next visit.
Spotting wildlife can be very exciting especially if you’re lucky enough to see a rare species, but don’t let your enthusiasm get the best of you! Getting too close to animals is an invasion of their space. Instead, by keeping a respectful distance you can still observe wildlife and even get some amazing photos all while keeping yourself and animals safe. Investing in a good pair of binoculars is a practical way of bird watching without getting too close and scaring them.
A popular way of enjoying local wildlife and beautiful natural areas is to find a spot where you can enjoy your lunch. There are plenty of moderate routes in the National Park that offer incredible views for people of all abilities and plenty to admire including the nearby wildlife, plants and flowers. But to stay respectful and keep habitats safe, always put your litter in the bins provided or bag it up and take it with you so you leave no trace once you leave. Taking responsibility for your litter is vitally important for protecting animals.
One of the easiest ways of observing nature respectfully is sticking to designated trails, reserves, and public spaces. Exploring new areas can feel like a real adventure but doing so can put nearby wildlife at risk, particularly when the area is protected. If you do a little research beforehand you can find breathtaking walking and hiking trails, such as the incredible scenic hills around Loch Lomond or forest walks in Acharn Forest – Killin where you can see native woodland animals. Following trails like these will keep natural habitats protected.
Imagine being at home and suddenly hearing strangers approaching you and making loud noises. That’s exactly what it feels like for animals when you aren’t mindful of their environment. Making lots of noise may also mean that you might not spot any wildlife at all! You don’t have to be completely silent throughout your visit but do use quiet voices to avoid scaring the animals.
Remember to it’s always best to look but don’t touch! Small animals in particular may look cute but that doesn’t mean you won’t get an animal bite if they feel threatened. Additionally, avoid picking wildflowers and other plants as souvenirs as they may look beautiful in your home but nobody else will get to enjoy them on their walk. You also don’t want to be faced with a hefty fine for picking rare or endangered plants when you’re on holiday!