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Egg-spectant visitors to get even better views of ospreys at Loch of the Lowes

Visitors to the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve near Dunkeld can expect even better views of the ospreys and their growing family as well as to enjoy a leisurely walk to the visitor centre from Dunkeld, thanks to two new developments on the site.

Just as the second and third of the three eggs are due to hatch, the popular osprey camera was officially switched on by funding partners Chevron Upstream Europe and SWT’s Chairman Dennis Dick who said “The Scottish Wildlife Trust aims to excite and involve people in wildlife and through this, hopefully engage them in protecting our natural heritage. This is the first high-definition web-enabled broadcasting camera to be used in a wildlife centre, the quality is the best around and now allows visitors to enjoy life in the nest from the visitor centre and live on the web.”

Rick Cohagan, Managing Director of Chevron Upstream Europe who recently made a £55,000 donation to cover this and other projects, said “Chevron Upstream Europe is a long standing sponsor of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and is delighted to support this innovative use of technology to help engage people in wildlife conservation. Whether you are in Perth, Scotland or Perth, Australia, it is exciting to experience these magnificent creatures at close range and learn how the Scottish Wildlife Trust is working to conserve Scotland’s natural heritage.”

As staff and volunteers watch the screens anxiously to see the next chicks emerge live on screen, visitors can now enjoy a woodland walk leading to a path down to Dunkeld. The walk takes 45 minutes (one-way) running 2.6 km and links to the former Fungarth Walk which may be renamed the Loch of the Lowes Walk to reflect the increasing popularity of the Centre. The path has been funded by Shell U.K. Limited and Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) who ploughed in a total of £25,000. Representing PKCT, Bob Ellis said “We are very fortunate that in this part of Scotland we have an abundance of all things natural. We have many paths to explore, hills to climb and animals and rare birds to watch. To take part in this leisure pursuit we need to provide the proper access which suits people of all abilities, this is why improving access to the countryside for locals and visitors alike is so important. Like our ospreys, we want the visitors to come back year after year.”

Steve Harris, Communications Manager UK for Shell Exploration and Production in Europe couldn’t agree more “We are delighted to have played our part in supporting this exciting new development. Shell U.K. works in partnership with organisations such as the Scottish Wildlife Trust to get more people involved in many different areas of the environment. This new walk is an easy way to get people outside appreciating this beautiful setting and glimpsing some of the amazing and rare wildlife found here.”

Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Strathtay Ward Councillor Alasdair Wylie said: “Wildlife tourism is a growing business for Perthshire. Thanks to places such as Loch of the Lowes visitors are recognising the huge amount on offer here. Until now there hasn’t been a complete walk that would safely take you up to the visitor centre away from the busy roads. I am confident visitors will now combine a walk and a visit to SWT’s visitor centre and we will see the real benefit of this useful link-for visitors to the area and the local tourism trade.”

Around 30,000 visitors come to the Loch of the Lowes each season to enjoy observing wildlife in its natural setting and most importantly, in a controlled environment offering minimum disturbance.

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