Trees cut down and wildlife camera stolen at nature reserve

Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve has suffered a spate of anti-social behaviour.

Muir of Dinnet nature reserve anti-social behaviour sees trees cut down and camera stolen NatureScot

Trees have been cut down, a camera stolen and litter left strewn across a nature reserve in what is being described as “unacceptable damage”.

NatureScot said some visitors to the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve in Aberdeenshire have committed anti-social behaviour at the reserve’s Loch Davan.

The damage includes trees being cut down, litter strewn across a two-metre stretch, a fire site left and fishing gear abandoned in two incidents in the last month.

A wildlife camera and signs have also been stolen prompting the reserve’s managers to urge visitors to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Visitors with dogs are being asked to keep them in sight and under close control or on a lead in moorland, forests, grasslands and shores to avoid disturbing birds nesting on or near the ground.

A wildlife camera and signs have also been stolen in a spate of anti-social behaviour.NatureScot

Simon Ritchie, reserve manager said: “While the vast majority of visitors to Muir of Dinnet are very responsible, it’s disappointing that we’ve had two recent incidents of antisocial behaviour on the reserve which have resulted in unacceptable damage.

“We are very grateful to the police and our partners for swift collaborative action to tackle these issues when they arise.

“Muir of Dinnet is first and foremost a nature reserve, and our emphasis is on protecting wildlife while welcoming responsible visitor access.

“With warmer weather on the way, we’d also like to remind water sports enthusiasts to please stay off the reserve’s lochs at this sensitive time of year for breeding birds.

“Activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing can disturb vulnerable birds such as goldeneye, and could even lead to ducklings becoming separated from their parents and dying.

“The water access guidance has been in place since 2021 and initial indications are this is making a real difference to vulnerable birds.

“We’d like to thank the vast majority of our visitors who act responsibly and help protect nature at this internationally important wildlife site.”

Fishing on Loch Kinord is by permit only and there is no fishing on Loch Davan.Lorne Gill/NatureScot

Restrictions on water access at Loch Kinord are in place each year between March 1 and August 31.

Members of the public are asked not to carry out water sports on Loch Davan at any point as it is too small to allow for any water access without disturbance.

Fishing on Loch Kinord is by permit only, managed by Dinnet and Kinord Estate, and there is no fishing on Loch Davan.

Colin Simpson, head of visitor services and active travel at the Cairngorms National Park Authority, added: “The Cairngorms National Park Authority is happy to support NatureScot and other partners efforts to both welcome people to the National Park this spring while also ensuring sensitive areas and species are protected.

“As with last year, we have employed a team of Rangers who will be out on the ground welcoming visitors and helping them with advice and guidance on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and how they can minimise their impact.”

For more information on responsible outdoor access in Scotland, see

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