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Exclusive Spring Nature Watch Event on Loch Earn

Loch Earn, Feb 3, 2020 – Secure a place at Loch Earn Nature Watch to enjoy waterside wildlife watching guided by professionals, in the private garden of an ancient thatched cottage in Lochearnhead.


Loch Earn Tourism business owners Kim and Fraser Proven, of Briar Cottages luxury and pet friendly self-catering, and Andrea Hudspeth of Aquila Ecology, have collaborated to offer a series of lochside nature viewing events as part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 celebrations.


The first event in the seasonal series has been announced for Sunday, May 17th at 10.30 am. The two hour, adult only session, will take place at Briar Cottages lochside garden in Lochearnhead, with parking provided outside the thatched cottage.


Binoculars and telescopes will be supplied by Ecologist Andrea Hudspeth and Ornithologist Terry Williams of Aquila Ecology, who are based in St Fillans. The nature-loving pair will lead the watch, sharing information on Loch Earn’s resident wildlife and summer visitors, encouraging photographs, information sharing and questions.


During the session, guests will be invited inside the Provens cottage for a hot beverage and to see it’s original Scots pine timber cruck framed ceiling, under the thatch. Historic Briar Cottage was once known as Easter Achraw and owned by the Earls of Breadalbane,  whose tenants included the same MacLaren family for 200 years.


Prior to owning Aquila Ecology, Principal Ecologist Andrea Hudspeth worked with the RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Edinburgh Zoo. She has first hand experience in bat conservation, breeding raptor monitoring, international bird migration camps and moorland management.


Andrea Hudspeth said, “I love what I do whether its consultancy, surveys, training or leading local bird-craft walks and nature tours at home or further afield. We expect to see a variety of garden birds, bees and butterflies from the comfort of Briar Cottage’s lochside garden and summerhouse, though the icing on the cake will be spotting the Ospreys that glide over the loch hunting for fish from spring to September and Golden Eagles that soar over the mountains on both sides of  Loch Earn.”


Ornithologist Terry Williams is the lead tour guide at Aquila Ecology. Terry started bird watching at the age of 10. He is a lifelong member of the Merseyside Naturalist Association, and he abides by its aim of sharing his wildlife knowledge with everyone.


Terry Williams said, “May is an excellent time for this event as Spring marks the return of many migrant birds that breed over the summer months – some returning to the same nest every year. Aquila Ecology’s base is in St Fillans on Loch Earn where we organise nature watching excursions all year round. We are also delighted to work  with individuals and groups on bespoke nature tours and sessions.”     


Briar Cottages is an award-winning self catering holiday destination offering a luxury and a pet friendly cottage with inclusive use of the loch garden for open water swimming, boating, petanque, putting and fishing. The Proven’s have earned a reputation for customer excellence over 12 years. Recent awards include a 5 bubble rated TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Best Pet Holiday Home in Europe awarded November 2019 and a 10 out of 10 Recognition of Excellence award 2020, from Hotels Combined, putting them amongst the top 3% of achievers in the world.


Kim Proven said, “Fraser and I are delighted with our holiday cottages’ rewards and the recognition that we have earned thanks to guest reviews. We don’t take any of it for granted and are constantly listening to guests and planning continuous improvement projects. We enjoy what we do and have a lot of fun engaging with visitors from all over the world.” 


Fraser Proven said, “We are looking forward to hosting lochside nature watch events and welcoming new guests. It will be helpful to learn from Andrea and Terry about the species that are attracted to our garden on Loch Earn.” 


Briar Cottages guests have reported sightings of various creatures over the seasons including: Otter, Slow Worm, Pine Marten, deer and stags, Red kites and Red Squirrels. Garden birds from Robins and Bullfinches to Pied Wagtails are regularly seen along with seasonal Goldeneye ducks, Oystercatchers and Swallows.


If you like the sound of lochside nature spotting guided by an ecologist and an ornithologist, in the naturally beautiful surroundings of Briar Cottages on Loch Earn – including a rare peak inside the old thatched cottage – then booking your place at Loch Earn Nature Watch could be just the ticket.  You may even be the one to spot an Osprey or an Eagle.


Spaces are limited. For full terms, information and to secure a place email: Tickets cost £6 per person. Places are offered on a first to book basis. Summer and Autumn Loch Earn Nature Watch events at Briar Cottages have been announced for July 12 and September 13. 2020.

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