Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre
The Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre is located in a popular Scottish Nature Reserve. Construction to the center started in 1993, with its official opening taking place in 1995. The Montrose Basin was already declared a Local Nature Reserve by the year 1981, but the need for an educational and informative center only came to light many years later. The Montrose Basin is extremely important to the survival of thousands of migratory birds and the protection of the resident bird populations. The populations of pink-footed geese have dramatically increased, and the Montrose Basin is the annual rest stop of approximately 35 000 of these geese.
The vital role of the Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre is to educate the public on the migratory habits of the different species of birds that visit the Montrose basin every year, and to make them aware of the importance of protecting this area. Visual displays, information boards, television cameras and sophisticated telescopes bring the birds and their habitat to the visitors, especially those who are not able to explore the park on their own. A classroom has been set up to accommodate scholars and groups, and during the summer and spring months the equipment allows the visitor to look in on the life of a nesting pair of swallows, or be a bluetit chick for the day. The ecosystem and network of the Montrose Basin is also explained at the center, which makes this one of the most educational Scottish Nature Reserves.
With the Montrose Basin being located on the River South Esk, the basin attracts a large variety of birds including greylag geese, eider ducks and a variety of wading birds. The vegetation and water is rich in food resources and provides the perfect environment for breeding, as nesting materials are in abundance and the tranquil untouched surroundings create a safe and secure place to raise chicks. Not being disturbed by continuous human activity increases the breeding populations and attracts more migratory birds.
The Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre provides ample parking for visitors, access for disabled wildlife enthusiasts and has a small shop and refreshments available to the public. The center is dedicated to the survival of migratory birds, and with viewing windows, binoculars and cameras to the disposal of visitors, the public is able to appreciate, understand and be educated on the daily survival struggle that birds face.