New RSPB Reserve at Dunnet Head, Scotland

May 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

In line with their ongoing efforts in the conservation of wild birds and other wildlife, as well as their habitats, RSPB Scotland have announced that Dunnet Head in Caithness has become a nature reserve. These cliffs at the British mainland’s most northerly point jutting out into the Pentland Firth between John o’Groats and Thurso, Caithness, are home to a multitude of seabirds, including guillemots, puffins and kittiwakes.

Landowner, Ben Colson, recently handed over the management of the 27-hectare site to the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). Recognizing that Dunnet Head is a nationally important home for a large variety of seabirds, Colson expressed his appreciation for the work the RSPB do, as well as his confidence that they will ensure that both the wildlife of the area, and the people who visit there, will be catered for. Colson, his family, and many others in the area have a special bond with Dunnett Head, which is rich in wildlife and history. They are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with RSPB in sharing the natural beauty of this nature reserve with fellow bird and wildlife enthusiasts from far and wide.

The red sandstone cliffs of Dunnet Head are more than 90 meters high in some place, but the majority of the cliffs are between 30 and 60 meters high. RSPB Scotland’s senior conservation manager, Pete Mayhew, revealed that in addition to caring for the seabirds and their cliff habitat, they are hoping to manage the land on top of the cliffs. This land, which had been grazed by sheep in the past, could provide habitat for corncrake, twite and great yellow bumblebee. Future plans include improving tourist facilities at Dunnet Head to attract more visitors to the area.

Dunnet Head is mainland Britain’s most northerly point. On a clear day visitors can enjoy some of the most extensive and breath-taking views to be found anywhere in northern Scotland. These stunning views extend from Cape Wrath situated at the north-western tip of mainland Scotland, right through of Duncansby Head at the north-eastern tip. Looking inland, the view includes the sharp peaks of Morvern and Maiden Pap. Add to all this natural beauty, the abundant bird and wildlife of the area, and you have some compelling reasons to visit Dunnett Head, RSPB Scotland‘s newest nature reserve.

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