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01 September, 2021

Watersports enthusiasts thanked for helping breeding birds

Watersports enthusiasts thanked for helping breeding birds: Loch Kinord, Muir of Dinnet NNR ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Boaters, paddle-boarders and swimmers are being thanked for helping to protect breeding birds at a popular Deeside nature reserve this summer.

NatureScot took the unusual step in June of asking visitors to stay off Loch Kinord at its Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve during the sensitive bird breeding season because of concerns about disturbance. 

Watersports visitors had surged partly as a result of the increasing popularity of paddle-boarding, as well as an increase in people holidaying at home and visiting local sites more regularly.

Reserve manager Catriona Reid said “Compliance from users of canoes, paddle-boards, inflatables and open-water swimmers has been very good so we’d like to thank everyone for their restraint. Numbers of birds using the loch noticeably increased as soon as the revised guidance came in, and we hope that in most cases the birds will have successfully reared their broods. 

“However we haven’t seen nearly as many of some species - such as goldeneye – this summer.  We’ll be looking in more detail at the data gathered over the course of the season to carry out a full review and consult widely with users before we decide what to do next year.

“We all want to be able to visit and enjoy special places such as nature reserves. The key thing is to do it in a way which doesn’t have a negative impact on the site and its nature in the longer term.”

While the breeding season is now over, birds which are moulting or over-wintering can also be vulnerable to disturbance, so visitors are reminded to be aware of the impacts their presence may have, and follow the usual guidance in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Along with RSPB, the British Stand-up Paddle Association have recently published a code of conduct to help their members enjoy the sport responsibly:


Contact information

NatureScot Media
0131 316 2655

Notes to editors

Find the latest guidance on visiting Muir of Dinnet NNR on the NatureScot website:

NatureScot is Scotland's nature agency. We work to enhance our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. Our priority is a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency. For more information, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

’S e NatureScot buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Bidh sinn a’ neartachadh àrainneachd na h-Alba agus a’ brosnachadh dhaoine gu barrachd suim a chur ann an nàdar. Tha e mar phrìomhachas againn gum bi nàdar na h-Alba beairteach agus gun dèilig sinn gu h-èifeachdach le èiginn na gnàth-shìde. Tha an tuilleadh fiosrachaidh aig no air Twitter aig


Loch Kinord, Muir of Dinnet NNR ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Loch Kinord, Muir of Dinnet NNR ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

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A male goldeneye duck ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

A male goldeneye duck ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot

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