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About Loch of Strathbeg

Lapwing feeding in wet meadow, Elmley Marsh RSPB reserve

Image: Chris Gomersall

Britain's largest dune loch is a joy to visit any time of year. In winter, thousands of wild geese, swans and ducks fly in, including 20 per cent of the world's population of pink-footed geese – it's a sight you'll never forget.

During spring and summer, you can see gulls, terns and wading birds raising their young, and you may catch a glimpse of an otter. With panoramic views from the visitor centre, there's plenty for families and children too.

Opening times

The visitor centre is open every day from 8 am-6 pm (or dusk if earlier). The Tower Pool, Fen and Bay hides are open from dawn until dusk daily, except Christmas Day. For access information specific to these hides, please refer to the 'Facilities' page.

Entrance charges

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

Information for families

The reserve holds a number of family and children events. There are also Wildlife Explorer backpacks available free from the visitor centre. These contain bug jars, binoculars and guide books to help children get the most out of their visit. Pond dipping equipment can be hired from the visitor centre for a small charge. There is also an area for younger children in the visitor centre with colouring activities and puzzle sheets.

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) and in areas with livestock we would ask that you keep your dog close to you, preferably on a short lead and please clean up after your dog.

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 57.60934,-1.90959
  • Postcode: AB43 8QN
  • Grid reference: NK055577
  • Nearest town: Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire
  • County: Aberdeenshire
  • Country: Scotland

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School visits