World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2, but visitors to RSPB Lochwinnoch can enjoy the wetlands every day of the year.
We spoke to Robert Conn, Visitor Experience Manager at RSPB Lochwinnoch, who told us more about the nature reserve in Renfrewshire.
Robert said: “As one of the largest remaining wetlands in Southwest Scotland, RSPB Scotland Lochwinnoch provides essential habitats for a vast range of wildlife.
“Last year we recorded 126 different species of birds, this included some pretty rare species such as a black-winged stilt, smew and breeding little ringed plovers.”
Located in the village of Lochwinnoch, the wetland reserve is perfect for enjoying the outdoors or a day out with the family.
It’s home to a range of trails offering spectacular views, birdwatching hides and a fantastic visitor centre.
Plus, kids and families can enjoy hours of fun with the outdoor play area, events and daily drop-in activities across the year.
Robert added: “With our unique location, less than 15 minutes from Paisley and easily accessible by public transport, visitors can enjoy strolling along our accessible trails, using the viewing facilities to spot wildlife, or enjoy a hot drink and sandwich back at the visitor centre.”
Keen wildlife spotters can watch whooper swans, wigeon and a wide variety of ducks during winter months.
The elaborate displays of the great crested grebes in spring are not to be missed.
RSPB Lochwinnoch warden Dan Snowdon said: “Supporting many wintering and breeding birds, the reserve also plays host to spring and autumn migrants on their way to other sites as well as other wetland flora and fauna such as otter and locally rare wetland plants and invertebrates.”
The visitor centre, shop, toilets and birdwatching hides are open daily from 9:30am to 5pm.
Robert added: “RSPB Lochwinnoch welcomes around 25,000 visitors each year.
“We are keen to increase this number through developing the site further as the more people we can attract, the more people we hope will want to help protect important sites like this for the future.”