In late 2012 a small group led by Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (UOG) was established to revitalise the Western Isles’s only Local Nature Reserve at Loch Stiapabhat in Ness, making sure that the reserve’s extraordinary wildlife was much more accessible, both to the local community and visitors to this part of Lewis. The project set out to create a new nature observatory, one which was much more in keeping with the amazing site and which would support the development of wildlife tourism in the area.
The working group was made up of local users of the current bird hide as well as those with a working interest in the wildlife at the LNR. With significant input from the local user group, a funding package was secured for a new nature observatory with a screened boardwalk. A bilingual talking post was included as part of the innovative interpretation at the LNR.
This £40,000 project was funded by RSPB, LEADER, SNH, UOG and The John Muir Trust. Work commenced on the new nature observatory in August 2013 and was completed in December that same year. OH-MEET carried out the work on the Observatory, where they employed 6 individuals for a 5 month period through the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar local authority employment scheme.
We would like to thank all the funders, the workers and the volunteers for their help on this project, the reserve would not have been possible without their continued support.
The nature observatory was officially opened in April 2014 by Roy Dennis, MBE. The new observatory is a great asset to the LNR and also to the estate.
The video below shows some photos from the official opening of the Nature Reserve on the 12th of April 2014.
Nature of Scotland Awards
Duaisean Nàdair na h-Alba
The Nature of Scotland Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence, innovation and outstanding achievement in Scottish nature conservation.
We were very pleased to have been shortlisted for this award and congratulate the winners, Concrete Garden – Growing Together. Our project is important from a social, environmental and economic perspective and we wanted to recognise the commitment of the volunteers who have been involved in establishing this excellent facility on this world class site at Loch Stiapabhat Local Nature Reserve.
Click on the link below for more information about the awards.