You don’t have to travel far to enjoy nature. Just sit or stand quietly in any of our woodlands and you’ll soon see or hear life amongst the trees, be it insect, bird or mammal. Explore a bit further, and you'll greatly increase your chances of seeing some of Scotland's most iconic species. Don't forget to bring your binoculars and camera!

From soaring sea eagles to beach-bathing seals, scampering squirrels to busy beavers - there is a wealth of wildlife to see in and around Scotland's forests.

In this section you'll learn more about your favourite wild animals and where to find them. Click on any of the species in the list to the left to find out more.

Red deer by Laurie Campbell

Visit our wildlife hides

Many of our destinations are equipped with specially-designed nature hides, perfect for getting the best view of the local fauna. In them, and on our trails, you'll find information panels, or in some spots even guided tours, with knowledgeable staff on hand to help you make the most of your time in the woods.

Robin by Jan Meeus from unsplash.com

Visit our Wild Watch hides at Kirroughtree, near Newton Stewart, or The Lodge, near Aberfoyle to spot red squirrels, woodland birds and, if you’re really lucky, perhaps a graceful roe deer gently picking its way through the forest.

If you're exploring the Isle of Skye, why not head to our nature hide at Kylerhea where otters swim, play, hunt and raise their pups. Don't forget to keep your eyes on the water where you'll almost certainly see seals and porpoises swimming in the narrows that connect Loch Alsh and the Sound of Sleat.

And if you really fancy getting off the beaten track, the Garbh Eilean Wildife Hide at Loch Sunart offers a bit of everything, with sea birds, eagles, seals, otters and pine marten all regular visitors!

Red squirrel by Isobel Cameron

Birds of prey

It's always a thrill to see Scotland's largest birds and our forests provide a home to many. Each year from April to September, Mull Eagle Watch offers extremely popular ranger-guided tours to view the largest and most impressive in Britain: the white-tailed eagle.

Back on the mainland, forests provide an ideal summer home for migratory ospreys. Learn more about these wonderful birds and view live video feeds from their tree-top nests as they tend to their young at The Lodge, near Aberfoyle, Kirroughtree, near Newton Stewart, and at Glentress, in Tweed Valley.

Osprey chick by Joanna McFarlane

The Knapdale beavers

Beavers came to Barnluasgan, deep in the heart of Argyll, as part of the UK's first ever wild mammal reintroduction. They adapted quickly to their new home, creating a wetland habitat unlike any other in Scotland. While the beavers themselves are only likely to be spotted at dawn or dusk, their handiwork - including dams, lodges and plenty of gnawed trees - is easy to spot at any time of day!

Beaver by Laurie Campbell

Get up close in Galloway

Within a few miles of each other on the Queen's Way, you'll have opportunities for close encounters with two of Scotland's most majestic mammals. The aptly named Red Deer Range and Wild Goat Park are both home to over fifty of their respective species. You might also want to spend some time in the wildlife hides here to scan the trees for red squirrels, or why join one of our ranger-led visits where you'll learn more about the beautful creatures that call this area home?

Feral goat by Neil Benvie

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