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All the forests in the park are important for wildlife, with a range of habitats from wee ponds to light mixed woodland and heathery moorland.

Tweed Valley ospreys

The stars of the valley are ospreys, which have bred along the Tweed every summer since the late 1990s – a sign of how much the environment has improved. The local fish might not be so happy to see them, but they make a wonderful spectacle.

Drop into the wildlife observation room at Glentress to find out more about these impressive raptors from the enthusiastic volunteers who run the Tweed Valley Osprey Project. In nesting season, you can watch live images of a local osprey nest and follow the birds’ progress on the Tweed Valley Osprey Project blog.

Creatures great and small

The forests are home to a huge variety of other birds, including buzzards, pipits, dippers, waxwings, crossbills, siskins, chiffchaff, great spotted woodpeckers and owls.

Wherever you go, tread softly, and keep your eyes peeled and your ears open. Otters, foxes, red squirrels, roe deer, badgers and rabbits are all common in the forest park, but they’re naturally timid. The best time to spot these shy creatures is at dusk, when the countryside quietens down.

Wildlife viewing tips

  • Cademuir and Yair, with their mixed woodland, are good places to spot woodland birds.

  • At Thornielee the open meadows are particularly good for butterflies: visit in summer to see what’s in the air.

  • If you visit Glentress, as well as the Ospreys you can also see bees in the observation beehive - don't worry, they're kept safely away behind a glass screen.

  • The forest at Glenkinnon, part of Yair Forest, is specially protected because of its rich communities of trees and plants. Information boards along the Biodiversity Trail will tell you more.