A visit to RSPB Loch Leven
In March 2020 our in person meet-ups with volunteers and Ambassadors stopped. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic our Euan’s Guide staff members and Euan’s Guide Ambassadors have met up most months, sometimes more often, over Zoom video call to catch-up and take part in various events. It was a great way to stay connected in a time where a lot of us felt alone. We are still continuing some online events, but it was fantastic to see a small group of our Ambassadors in person when we met up at the RSPB Loch Leven Nature Reserve at the start of June.
We were invited by RSPB to look around their visitor centre, café and nature walk to review their accessibility and give feedback. Loch Leven Nature Reserve had a lot of work done in 2021 including the installation of a Changing Places toilet. It was the perfect venue to have our first in person event as the majority of the time we were outside and due to visiting later in the day it was nice and quiet.
We loved all the paintings, pictures, and sculptures that were dotted around the area, mirroring the amazing wildlife –even a steep staircase was painted to give the effect of being one big painting as you approached it, while willow-woven otters and birds welcomed us along the path. Access to the visitor’s centre was level access and apart from some areas of rocky pathways along the Loch Leven Heritage trail that made those of us who use wheelchairs bones rattle, it was a pleasant walk along an accessible pathway spotting various wildlife along the way. Some of us even saw a baby mole scutter across the pathway in front of us.
As we walked along the trail, we found a spacious viewpoint where we could see for miles across the loch, spotting all kinds of birds, which none of us could name but all of us enjoyed. We then decided to walk back the way we came to avoid being out too long and took the ramp up to the first floor which houses the café, also with beautiful views, to have a rest and chat as a group. This was the part of our visit that Ambassadors felt most apprehensive about as it is indoors however their feedback was “I was a bit out of my comfort zone in the cafe but felt a little better seeing the windows open”.
Before heading home some of our Ambassadors explored the level access visitor centre to purchase some bird feeders and the fantastic toilet facilities available. As mentioned, before they have a fully equipped Changing Places toilet which is spacious and clean. The best bit also is it open 24 hours a day as well as the nature walks even when the visitors centre is closed. It was a lovely afternoon and our Ambassadors agreed saying “it was lovely to see you all in person yesterday and the drive home was beautiful going up through the glen”. You can read our reviews on our visit to RSPB Loch Leven Nature Reserve on the website.