Early press coverage of our 50th anniversary

It was brought to our attention this week that Wednesday’s Points of View section of the Courier featured the first public mention of the designation of Loch Leven as a National Nature Reserve ‘on this day’ back in 1964.

Courier snippet – 50 years ago – Loch Leven NNR

The tone from the wee snippet (right hand column of pdf document above) that is included makes you realise just how much times have changed.  It reads, ‘The public could be prevented from having access to the whole area and in particular to Castle Island.’

Castle Island today is a popular visitor attraction accessed by thousands of visitors every year through Historic Scotland

Castle Island today is a popular visitor attraction accessed by thousands of visitors every year through Historic Scotland

Unthinkable now, that the public would be denied access to Loch Leven, but back then the NNR designation was applied to keep people away in order to prevent disturbance to the wildlife on the loch.  It wasn’t considered that people and wildlife could share it together.  I’d like to think that in recent years the unprecedented access that is now afforded to the loch and with the Heritage Trail nearing completion, our wildfowl monitoring data published in our annual report demonstrates that people and birds can in fact share and enjoy the loch without any notable detrimental effects.

The sluice house- clearly older than the NNR, but instrumental in terms of water levels and the knock-on effects to wildfowl using the loch.

The sluice house- clearly older than the NNR, but instrumental in terms of water levels and the knock-on effects to wildfowl using the loch.

Plans are underway for our 50th anniversary celebrations, and we’ve discussed a wide range of possibilities, including new activities at Discovery Day, a special photography competition, unique 50th anniversary themed artwork, and various events that will help us to mark this year, and to share with you Loch Leven NNR over the last 50 years.

A morning goose count from years gone by

A morning goose count from years gone by

I’m keen to prepare a timeline of Loch Leven NNR over the years, and in order to do this I’m going to need the help of local people that have been here and seen these changes taking place in front of them.  At present I’m looking for photographs, newspaper articles or personal memoirs that could potentially be included in a Loch Leven NNR timeline, that will eventually be compiled and displayed at this year’s Discovery Day.  Any thoughts, contributions or suggestions regarding this, then please feel free to contact me at the reserve office on 01577 864439.

The reserve office

The reserve office

Alternatively, watch this space as we piece together the last 50 years of wildlife and people at Loch Leven NNR.

About Craig.Nisbet

Reserve Officer Loch Leven National Nature Reserve Scottish Natural Heritage
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