Re-build of destroyed Loch Leven bird hide begins

09 March 2022

A year after the popular bird hide on the shores of Loch Leven was destroyed by fire, construction will begin on a replacement.

The construction of the new hide has been funded by a crowdfunding appeal that raised almost £30,000. The remainder has been funded by NatureScot, which manages much of the national nature reserve (NNR).

Construction begins on 15 March, and a section of the trail will be closed for about two weeks to allow the operation of heavy plant machinery during the works. The trail circuit will still be passable with a diversion around the closure in place. There may be possible occasional closures in early April as well.

The new hide will be similar to the previous hide, but with a more open back to discourage any anti-social behaviour. This will also allow a new camera to better record any incidents.

NatureScot’s reserve manager Neil Mitchell said: “Aptly, the new hide will be known as the Phoenix Hide, as it rises from the ashes. We’re hugely thankful to the local community, businesses and visitors who contributed so generously, helping us get the re-build underway. I’m sure staff and locals alike are all looking forward to having the hide back again. It provides a lovely shelter to enjoy stunning views of the loch and is also a great vantage point to watch the reserve’s resident ducks, geese and swans.

“We’d ask visitors to check the NatureScot website or the Loch Leven NNR Facebook page for updates and please follow any signage and instructions from the contractors during the works.”

The Mill Hide, built in 2011 and located on the edge of Kinross behind the Todd and Duncan cashmere mill, won awards for its architectural design. The foundations survived the fire and will support the replacement structure.

Loch Leven is NatureScot’s most visited national nature reserve. With more than 300,000 people a year visiting the site and using the Loch Leven Heritage Trail, this bird hide was one of the most visited parts of the reserve.

To find out more about path closures read our Loch Leven NNR - Mill Hide Rebuild website page.