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Forvie National Nature Reserve

Shifting sands and seabirds

Forvie National Nature Reserve (NNR) is one of our natural treasures. The large areas of bare sand and shifting dunes that dominate the southern end of the reserve have been compared to the Sahara Desert. It’s a place of stark beauty.

The reserve covers almost 1,000 hectares of sand dunes and dune heath between the North Sea and the estuary of the River Ythan. It is home to a rich variety of wildlife. Forvie is particularly renowned for its birds. These include a breeding colony of eiders, four species of breeding terns and a wealth of wildfowl and waders.

Best seen from the south side of the river, there is a large seal haul-out at the mouth of the Ythan.

The dunes hide layers of history, including Forvie Kirk.

Find out more about visiting Forvie NNR.

Top attractions

  • Watch a huge range of birds at any time of year.
  • Explore the sand dunes on our trails.
  • Visit in spring and summer for colourful flowers on the cliffs.
  • See seals hauled out on the estuary from Newburgh beach.

Find out more about the reserve and its natural history.

What’s on?

Visit our Events page to see what upcoming events you can get involved in at this reserve.

Contact

Reserve manager: Annabel Drysdale

Scottish Natural Heritage
The Forvie Centre
Collieston
Ellon
AB41 8RU

Telephone: 01358 751330
Email: nnr@snh.gov.uk

Find out more

Discover more about why Scotland’s National Nature Reserves were created and the partners who manage them.

Related Links

Follow our NNR Facebook page for up-to-date information on reserves across Scotland.

Follow SNH’s Scotland’s Nature blog and find interesting articles on Scotland’s natural heritage.

Our visitor centre is rated Gold under the GTBS (Green Tourism Business Scheme).

Forvie NNR is a member of VisitScotland.

Enjoyed your visit?

  • Make a donation to support nature and visitor facilities on our NNRs.
  • Let us know what you thought on TripAdvisor.