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It’s a strange world just now but nature goes on – probably faring quite a bit better than usual as there aren’t so many people around. We saw our first swifts this year about a week earlier than over the past few years, on May the first, and did a wee dance of happiness when we spotted them and heard their screaming. It’s such a joyous sound and one of our favourite sounds of summer. People do seem to be enjoying the wildlife around them more than usual, maybe because they have more time to experience and appreciate it.

Our trailcam by the River Tay has been in place for a few months now and has picked up quite a variety of wildlife, including two beavers, so we hope they will have kits in a few weeks. Other regular visitors to the area include a trio of Roe deer, a Pheasant, Blackbirds, Redwings, a Grey squirrel, Goosanders, Mallard ducks and a Red-legged partridge. It’s also picked up a Pine marten, an Otter & a Red fox. We have been really missing our beaver family that we usually watch though I am sure they are getting on fine without us.

We obviously aren’t running any tours just now and can’t do much of our consultancy work but we are hopeful that things may start up again when the lock-down is eased. We have managed to sow a few more wildflowers than usual and have lots of stock ready to go mid-summer. So please get in touch if you’d like to improve your garden or park for wildlife with beautiful Scottish wildflowers.

I started training as a Walk Leader with Mountain Training many years ago and thought it was about time I got my qualification. Autumn and winter are our least busy times so I went for my assessment in the Lomond Hills in Fife in March. It was cold and wet with snow on the ground, but it was actually good fun and I learned a few new skills. Thankfully I passed so you can be confident I have the skills to organise an excellent walk for you and not get lost!

We have been working with a student at Napier University who is doing a Masters in Ecotourism. For her dissertation she is looking at the value of the Beavers & Beaver tourism to the Perthshire economy and we would really appreciate anybody who went on any of our beaver tours in 2019 or 2018 to take part (Private Beaver Safari ie walking tour, Half-day Beaver Safari or Beaver Safari by Kayak). It will only take a few minutes as it’s an on-line survey.

We know how many people come to the area to see the beavers with us and it will be really useful to know the value of their visit to demonstrate their economic value as well as their ecological brilliance.

Many thanks in advance. Daniele

Extra info from Lisa:
– Both people who went on beaver tours and those that did not but did go on some kind of other wildlife viewing tour can take part. (so I have something to compare the beaver data to)
– The survey is best viewed on a tablet/computer/laptop. It can still be completed on a mobile but the formatting of some questions may look odd or inconvenient to answer.

Swift feeding by Craig Cantwell Photography