Loch Leven NNR - About the reserve

Loch Leven is managed to provide a range of habitats for birds and other wildlife.




Managing habitats and inspiring people

Loch Leven NNR takes its name from the internationally important loch at its centre.

Surrounded by a fringe of wetland and woodland habitats, Loch Leven is one of the most significant wetland sites in the UK. It supports internationally important populations of wintering and breeding waterbirds. There is also a diversity of habitats and associated wildlife.

NatureScot manages the loch, islands and a fringe of mixed habitats around the shores. The RSPB manages wetlands on the southern shore of the loch, along with areas of woodland and hill ground.

Habitats and species

Much of the work to keep Loch Leven in good condition happens in the wider catchment. Managing farmland and other habitats helps to reduce the nutrients flowing into the loch.

On site, we focus on keeping the fringes of wetland and grassland habitats in good condition. We manage bog areas to reduce scrub and vegetation. We tend grasslands to keep the grass at a height where the wildflowers can flourish. And we care for woodlands to favour native trees and the species they support.

Both wintering and breeding birds are susceptible to disturbance. We will continue to manage access and visitors to minimise their impacts.

We think carefully about where and how to create visitor facilities, and we encourage responsible access to reduce disturbance. We also manage access for water sports, as these can be particularly disruptive to birds on the loch.

Engaging people with nature

We want visiting the reserve to be one of the best wildlife experiences in Scotland. We want to create opportunities for people to connect with nature while respecting and valuing it. Working in partnership, our current focus is on improving the welcome and facilities around the Kinross area of the reserve.

We have direct contact with visitors through events and open days. We also encourage people to be actively involved in the management of the reserve through regular volunteering.

Management planning

We plan our management carefully to make sure that the special qualities of the reserve thrive. In this way it will always give visitors an enjoyable experience and engage people with nature.

We produce 10-year management plans for our reserves. Find out more about how we manage Loch Leven NNR: 

  • The Management Plan – sets out our priorities and tasks for managing the reserve between 2016 and 2026.
  • The Reserve Story – an introduction to the natural heritage, historical interest, past management and designations which protect the reserve.

Protected areas

Loch Leven NNR overlaps with several protected areas:

Find out more about these protected areas and their designated features by searching the map:

Find out more

Learn more about Scotland’s National Nature Reserves. 

Discover how protected areas safeguard our natural heritage.

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