Sensational live pictures of the nest - with two adult birds and a five-week-old chick - can now be seen in the VisitScotland Information Centre (Assynt) in Lochinver, Sutherland.
It is thought to be the only place in the UK where live pictures of a golden eagle nest can currently be viewed. The pair can be seen on screen bringing food, including a mountain hare, to the chick.
A tiny CCTV camera is perched on a steep crag in a remote Highland glen in Assynt and the picture is beamed nearly 20km to the Assynt VisitScotland Information Centre. It is hoped this will help ‘eagle-eyed’ visitors to experience what it must be like to get up close and personal with these magnificent raptors.
This exciting project, run by the Assynt Tourism Group and Highland Council Rangers, offers visitors the chance to become inspired by golden eagles which, as a top predator, play an important role in the upland ecology of the Highlands.
The golden eagle is one of Scotland’s ‘Big 5’ in the VisitScotland and Scottish Natural Heritage’s domestic marketing campaign, aimed at encouraging everyone to try to spot five iconic Scottish animals including the red deer, golden eagle, harbour seal, otter and red squirrel - during this, the Year of Natural Scotland.
The Assynt Foundation (who manage the community-owned Glencanisp estate) were delighted that the eagles have chosen to nest on their land, as they have been keen supporters of the project from the start.
Andy Summers, Highland Council Senior Countryside Ranger for Caithness and Sutherland, said:
“As far as we know, this is the only place in the UK where you can currently see live pictures of a golden eagle nest. Techniques at the nest site and the visitor centre are tried and tested, having been used previously during live TV transmissions. However, the distances involved mean we are at the cutting edge of radio link technology. The power for the camera also uses the latest methanol fuel cell technology.
“The quality of the images is really - I am impressed! Both adult birds were there with the chick this morning and they brought a grouse for the chick and something else that we couldn’t identify. Sometimes when you watch, the chick is sitting quietly and then at other times, there’s lots of action and it’s quite exciting! The chick is five weeks old and will be on the nest for another five or six weeks, when it will leave the nest, but still be fed by the adults.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:
“The Year of Natural Scotland gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase Scotland’s unique natural environment and what better way to do this than for visitors to be able to view such magnificent and rare birds of prey in their own habitat?
“We should all appreciate what stunning natural icons we have on our doorstep and I would like to congratulate the Assynt Tourism Group and Assynt Highland Council Rangers on this pioneering joint initiative which, we hope, would enhance natural tourism in Scotland.
“I would like everyone to make the most of the outstanding natural beauty we are so lucky to have here in Scotland and encourage them to make the most of opportunities like this to see our indigenous creatures, including the golden eagle.”Ends
The Assynt Visitor Centre is open daily 10am-5pm and 10am-3pm on Sundays and is free.
For further information contact:
Corporate Press Officer - North
Tel: 01224 269187
Mob: 07805 802508
Corporate Press Officer - North
Tel: 01463 252432
Mob: 07785 515469
Notes to Editors:
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation has three key roles:
- To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
- To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
- To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to www.visitscotland.com
- The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
- For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to www.visitscotland.org/about_us/our_focus/annual_report.aspx