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Coronavirus: Latest update from our Chief Executive, Francesca Osowska

24 March 2020

At SNH we are working hard to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in a way that ensures we look after both our staff and the public we serve.

Our offices are closed to our staff and public and our people are working from home.  We are modifying our ways of working in line with the latest government advice but we are still contactable and are striving to provide a continued quality service. See the contact page for the best ways of getting in touch at the moment.

As a result of the latest advice from the UK and Scottish Governments, we have taken the decision to close public facilities, including visitor centres, toilets, and car park facilities, on our National Nature Reserves across Scotland for the health and safety of both staff and visitors. If you live locally you can still access the reserve for your daily visit outdoors. Please do not take your car or any other motor vehicles, and follow social distancing guidelines set out by the government.

We recognise this will be a very stressful and anxious time for many people. Even simple activities such as getting out for a walk, breathing fresh air, listening to birdsong or noticing wild flowers can all greatly improve our wellbeing during this difficult time.

But it is crucial to keep it local, keep to one exercise outing a day and follow social distancing guidelines set out by the government. Where possible, relax and keep active at local parks, greenspaces, countryside and coast close to home.  

Avoid popular places where close contact with people is difficult to avoid.  Longer trips for recreation which involve more significant travel to different parts of Scotland should be postponed as these cannot be considered essential trips during the current emergency. Follow local advice at all times.

If you have a garden, you can take time to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air, listen to birdsong or do some gardening. You can find tips on how to help your local wildlife here.

For those who can’t get outside at this time, there are still many ways to connect with the sights and sounds of nature which can be very therapeutic. You can take a virtual trip to some of our beautiful NNRS with our podcast series.

Francesca Osowska, Chief Executive, Scottish Natural Heritage.