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New Wildlife Viewing Opportunities on Atholl Estates

Doe in meadow: credit Peter Cairns/Northshots

Doe in meadow: credit Peter Cairns/Northshots

Eighteen soldiers from the 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) visited Atholl Estates this week to complete a mission with a difference. The skilled team constructed two wildlife hides on the 145,000 acre Highland Perthshire estate, one in the woodland fringes of Glen Tilt and a second adjacent to the historic grounds of Blair Castle.

The hides will give future visitors an opportunity to see the native wildlife including red squirrel and roe deer at close quarters. The construction of the two wildlife hides is part of a light training exercise for the Royal Engineers before they depart for another tour of duty to Afghanistan. While not hide building, the soldiers will be enjoying a well-earned break hiking and cycling through the woods at Blair Atholl and Dunkeld. The Royal Engineers regularly undertake construction projects to assist worthwhile charitable causes. Previous projects in the region have included the construction of a bird amphitheatre at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kinguissie.

Best known for Blair Castle, Atholl Estates extends beyond Glen Bruar and Glen Tilt to the north and to Dunkeld and Birnam to the south and covers 145,000 acres. The estate is rich in wildlife including hen harriers, red kites, buzzards, mountain hares, golden eagles, roe deer, pine martens and the rare capercaillie. The new hides will provide an opportunity to see wildlife in a dry controlled area.

The Glen Tilt hide is set on the woodland fringe and provides a viewing point for red squirrel and roe deer.

The second wildlife hide adjacent to the historic grounds of Blair Castle provides an ideal point from which to spot red squirrels. Keys for the hides are available from the Ranger Service at Atholl Estates Information Centre in Blair Atholl village. Interested groups and individuals are warmly invited to contact them on 01796 481740.

The hides are accessible to walkers and cyclists via the estate’s 40 mile network of way-marked trails, part of an overall 163 miles of paths and tracks. Visitors can also drop in on the hides during one of our regular Land Rover tours. A breath-taking 2.5 hour drive takes you through some of the most remote, dramatic and tranquil areas on Atholl Estates and provides an exceptional opportunity to enjoy the native wildlife. Our drivers both live and work on the estate and will share their specialist knowledge of the natural area. Daytime and dusk tours are available and October affords a special seasonal opportunity to hear the roaring stags. Contact the Estate Office on 01796 481355 for further details or visit our website.

For further information about land rover tours, walking and cycling routes and the new wildlife hides, please visit www.atholl-estates.co.uk.

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