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Daubenton's Bats: Vital to the Ecology

Found throughout Scotland, particularly in rural areas, Daubenton's bats are an important part of the ecology as they keep insect populations in check, eating up to fifty percent of their own bodyweight in gnat, midges, moths and other small insects every day. They generally catch these by flying just above water and trawling the surface with their large furry feet, eating their prey while still in flight. Granted, Daubenton's bats only weigh between 7g and 15g, but they are known to roost in colonies of thousands of individuals and collectively consume an enormous number of insects. The presence of these quiet nocturnal creatures may only be noticed if they were no longer there, and insect populations increased unabated.

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Features

Take a Stroll Through Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) developed from humble beginnings on a relatively small patch of ground at Holyrood Park in 1670, to a huge and diverse collection of living and preserved plants, cared for at four locations in Scotland – Edinburgh, Logan, Benmore and Dawyck – each of which contains its own specialized collection. In addition to the more than 13,300 living plant species, the RBGE's herbarium houses more than three million specimens which have been preserved. The RBGE serves as a vital hub of scientific study, with the emphasis on Conservation, Plants & Climate Change, and Scottish Biodiversity.

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Enjoy the Tranquility of Threave Estate

Located on Threave Estate, just west of Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway, Threave Garden offers a spectacular show of colourful flowers that change with the seasons. In the springtime, the daffodils take centre-stage, giving way to multi-coloured herbaceous beds in summer, and masses of heather in the autumn months. An informal rose garden is one of the highlights of this tranquil destination, and a walled garden, complete with glasshouse, is dedicate to plants and flowers with more temperate climatic requirements. There are several ponds and attractive water features, as well as a rock garden for visitors to enjoy.

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Features

History and Tradition in Govan

Medieval legend has it that a 7th-century King of Strathclyde, named Constantine, founded a monastery in the area now known as Govan, located on the south bank of the River Clyde west of the city centre of Glasgow. At one time a separate burgh, Govan became part of the city in 1912, while retaining its unique history, and even to some extent its culture, with some residents still considering themselves to be Govanites, rather than Glaswegians. In the Middle Ages, Govan served as a port for the ferry running between the town and Partick on the opposite bank of the River Clyde. Textile mills and coal mining were important to the economy in the 18th and 19th century, with shipbuilding taking over as the main industry in the 19th century.

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Features

Dolphin Conservation on Scotland’s Coastline

With more than 800 kilometres of rugged coastline incorporated in three council areas of Scotland (Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Moray), Moray Firth is a triangular-shaped inlet from the North Sea into which a number of rivers flow, including the River Spey, River Findhorn and River Ness. It is a spectacularly beautiful region of Scotland that holds particular appeal for nature lovers and it is here in Moray Firth that the world's largest bottle-nosed dolphins can be seen, often leaping clear out of the water in an unrestrained display of natural showmanship. Visitors to the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay can gain insight into these intelligent marine mammals and learn about the challenges they face in our modern world, as well discover what is being done to protect them.

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Features

A Day at the Races in Perth

Situated adjacent to the historic Scone Palace near the city of Perth, the Perth Racecourse opened in 1908, although horseracing in Perth goes back almost four hundred years. The right-handed course covers a distance of ten furlongs with the steeplechase course including eight fences per circuit and a water jump. The racing season at Perth Racecourse features fourteen race days, with the three-day Perth Festival kicking off the season in April, and the two-day Glorious Finale bringing the season to a close in September.

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Features

Visit the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary in Oban

Located on the shores of Loch Creran, near Oban in Argyll, the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary offers visitors an outing which is sure to be both educational and entertaining. Along with more than fifty marine displays, a nature trail and an adventure play area, the centre has a daily program featuring feeding demonstrations and informative talks on the fascinating marine creatures in its care. Moreover, the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary incorporates a state-of-the-art seal rescue and rehabilitation facility – an essential service in light of the fact that man continues to encroach on the habitats of these vulnerable animals.

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Features

Take a Tour Through Historic Scone Palace

The majestic Scone Palace, along with Scone Abbey and the historic Stone of Scone, has featured prominently in Scotland's history and is a must-see attraction when exploring the picturesque Perthshire region. A superb example of late Georgian Gothic architecture, the red sandstone building with its castellated roof was designed by renowned English architect William Atkinson and built in 1808 for the Earls of Mansfield. Very little remains of Scone Abbey, and the famous Stone of Scone is now displayed in the Crown Room of Edinburgh Castle, but Scone Palace is a treasure trove of history worth discovering.

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