Become a member

Help us save nature at places like this. From £3 a month.

Print page

About Forsinard Flows

Lookout Tower at Forsinard Flows

Image: The RSPB

A threatened landscape, peatlands have vanished across much of Scotland, but the RSPB is helping to preserve and restore this vital area of internationally important habitat. Summer is the best time of year to visit, when golden plovers, hen harriers and greenshanks breed.

As the largest of the RSPB reserves, we manage a vast peatland landscape which visitors can experience by exploring one of our two self-guided trails or joining one of our guided walks. The new Flows Lookout Tower gives a unique perspective of the pool system on our Dubh Lochan Trail, which is a classic example of the type of pools that are found throughout the Flow Country.

Don't forget to stop off at our visitor centre too! It contains local information, a peatland exhibition and multimedia film, light refreshments and toilet facilities.

Opening times

Reserve open at all times; visitor centre open April to the end of October (daily 9 am to 5 pm).

Entrance charges

Free, but donations to help us continue our work here are welcome.

Information for families

The Dubh Lochan Trail is the best way for families to explore the reserve and to learn about what makes blanket bogs special. Follow the boardwalk up to the Flows Lookout Tower and then venture off onto the flagstone discovery trail that snakes through the pool systems.

Search for frogs, lizards and dragonflies as you explore the pools for diving beetles and palmate newts. Remember that even though the peatlands are a vast landscape, the more you look for the little things, the more you will see!

Information for dog owners

This nature reserve is important for wildlife. RSPB Scotland welcomes responsible access, in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. During the ground-nesting bird breeding season (1 April to 15 August) we would ask that you keep your dog close to you, preferably on a short lead, and please clean up after your dog. To safeguard the natural heritage of the area we request that dogs are not taken onto the Dubh Lochan Trail and do not enter any bog pools. A forest track near the visitor centre can be used for exercising dogs and water is available at the visitor centre. Only assistance dogs should be taken into the visitor centre. Please ask a member of staff for more information.

What can I do?

Triodos Bank are helping us give peatland wildlife a home. Open an account with Triodos, deposit £100 or more and they'll donate £40 to our vital peatland restoration work.

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 58.35700,-3.89690
  • Grid reference: NC891425
  • Nearest town: Thurso, Highland
  • County: Highland
  • Country: Scotland

Get directions