The lighter evenings and the days of spring sunshine have definitely lifted many of our spirits after a tough start to the new year. That's the feeling I've been getting when meeting local visitors as they are walking around the trails. There’s something about watching shoots appearing on the ground, buds on trees and hearing that first buzzing bumblebee that calms and soothes us all. The woodland floor at RSPB Loch Lomond is already looking lush as the green leaves of the bluebells make their way through the ground and we patiently wait for their spectacular show in May.

Ospreys have also returned to the area! We’ve already had reports of up to five in the sky at the one time. One pretty special encounter saw an osprey soar right over the reserve carrying a fish. One of our volunteers David McCulloch managed to get this fantastic photo of it!

We’ve been busy planning an events programme that will be different to previous years, but still the great mix of nature loving activities, in a COVID safe way. We don’t have exact dates for when we will start our family activities, but if restrictions allow, we are hoping to be doing all the things our visitors love, like bug hunting and pond dipping, throughout the summer.

The team, including many of our volunteers, have been busy across the site, getting ready for the coming season. Here’s a bit of what they’ve been up to:

Litter picking along the shore and Ring Point.

The trails from the Nature Hub are looking as good as new after some fixing and tidying up.

Other essential work we've been doing includes creating and displaying safety signage, repairing fences and fixing gates before cattle go out onto the fields.

We are expecting a busy season so we have introduced a new Roving Visitor Experience volunteer role. Many of our current volunteers have already signed up and the main aim of the role is to ensure that all visitors have the best possible experience, but most importantly, that the wildlife here is not unnecessarily disturbed or damaged by irresponsible behaviours. Volunteers will be recording wildlife across the site, sharing sightings and news with visitors, taking on visitor management if necessary and promoting a littler free environment. If this sounds like something you would be interested in or you would like more information then please get in touch with me at emma.martinelli@rspb.org.uk 

Photo credits: David McCulloch, Helen Pugh Photography, Ash-Lynn Tavener, Cara Bell, Emma Martinelli 

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