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Natural Heritage

The Moray Firth is a treasure-trove of natural features, landscapes and wildlife. At all times of the year there are wonderful and interesting things to see and do in the natural environment.

Wherever you go, please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.  The Codes of Conduct page has links to more natural heritage and wildlife watching guidance.

Scottish Natural Heritage
From walks and places to visit, to volunteering and gardening for wildlife, find out some of the things you can do here.  Find out more about specific places to visit such as Nature Reserves and National Parks,  or explore using paths, tracks and route.

Forestry Commission
Discover the sights, sounds and experiences of the forest. From the quiet of the woods to the call of the wild, there’s something for everyone. More than just trees, and just a couple of clicks away. The web site has an interactive map of all sites around the Moray Firth detailing places to go, things to see and organised activities.

Wild Scotland
The Scottish wildlife tourism association's website for all matters relating to wildlife-watching sites, attractions and holiday providers.  Search the on-line directory of wild-life watching facilites around the Moray Firth coast.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society - Shore Based Whale and Dolphin Watching
There are fanstastic land-based watching spots all along the Moray Firth Coast. WDCS runs two coastal visitor centres which are great places to start your land-based watching (see below).  Alternatively, WDCS have produced an excellent on-line interactive map Best Sites for Whale and Dolphin Watching in the Moray Firth.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society Wildlife Centres
The Moray Firth is renowned as one of the best land-based dolphin watching hot spots in the world. The Spey Bay Wildlife Centre is based on the southern shore of the Moray Firth and the Dolphin And Seal Centre is based at North Kessock a short journey from Inverness - both are the perfect places to find about the wildlife of this area and the world famous bottlenose dolphins.

Dolphin Space Programme
For information and tips on where to cetacean watch from the shore and also links to accredited wildlife tour boat operators.

Macduff Aquarium
The aquarium features marine life from the Moray Firth in a variety of innovative exhibits. Come face to face with hundreds of native fish and invertebrates normally only seen by SCUBA divers who brave the chilly waters of the North Sea.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
The RSPB reserves in the Moray Firth area offer a range of things to see and do from from days out and special events for all the family with a wide range of facilities to quiet sites where facilities are minimal but the wildlife experience is not.

Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT)
SWT has reserves at Spey Bay and Loch Fleet with a number of smaller reserves further inland.  Special events are organised through the ranger service at the two main reserves. Check the web site for more information.

Countryside Ranger Service - Guided Walks and Events
Each year the Ranger Service puts together a programme of walks and events across the Moray Firth area, many of which are based on or the coast.  Follow the links below to the rangers in your area for their current activities programmes:
Highland Council Rangers Events
Moray Council Speyside Way Ranger Events
Aberdeenshire Council Countryside Ranger Events