The Trust has been awarded funding for a new wildlife hide at Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve and Visitor Centre from Angus Environmental Trust through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.
Powerful river currents mean the reserve’s Shelduck hide is in danger of sliding into the South Esk in the next few years. Thanks to the £11,375 award a new hide will be built in a more sustainable location overlooking the river and a nearby reed bed. The current muddy footpath leading to the hide will also be upgraded.
Montrose Basin Ranger Anna Cheshier said: “The Shelduck hide is the most popular of the three wildlife hides on the reserve but unfortunately the South Esk is threatening to undermine the ground beneath it. While there is no immediate danger, it’s inevitable that the hide will disappear into the river in the near future.
“This part of the reserve where the river meets the basin is very beautiful and visitors can enjoy a peaceful experience watching wildlife. It’s possible to see a variety of wildlife throughout the year, including Eider ducks during their courtship display, and many waders such as oystercatchers, black tailed godwits and common sandpipers.
“Many of the rare migrant birds that have visited in recent years, including glossy ibis and spoonbills, have been spotted there and those lucky enough may even catch sight of an otter traversing the Mill burn.”
Shona Smith, Chair of Angus Environmental Trust said: “Montrose Basin is an internationally important Special Protection Area due to the large numbers of birds it supports each year. We’re delighted to support this work, which will ensure people can continue to be inspired by the fantastic range of wildlife to be seen and heard from the Shelduck hide.”
While the existing hide structure is unsuitable to be moved information boards and other materials will be transferred before it is dismantled. Volunteers from the Trust’s Reserves Project Group will support the project by lining the new hide, constructing the new path and erecting fences.