A hillwalker enjoying the view over Loch Maree from the ascent of the mountain trail at Beinn Eighe NNR, Wester Ross. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library  on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.nature.scot

NatureScot National Nature Reserves: Coronavirus update

23 March 2020

At NatureScot 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.

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 overnight car park facilities, on our National Nature Reserves across Scotland for the health and safety of both staff and visitors. Due to its exceptional location and circumstances, our Isle of May National Nature Reserve will also close to all other than resident NatureScot staff who will continue to manage it on a care and maintenance basis. In addition, it is expected that our Noss National Nature Reserve will not open in May as planned, however, we will keep this under review as circumstances develop. You can find details on our National Nature Reserves here.

We recognise that 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 and follow social distancing guidelines set out by the government. Where possible, relax and keep active by continuing to explore and enjoy 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.