Dolphin Mairi Cowan

Taking a break from the rat-race that is city life can be an ideal opportunity to appreciate what Mother Nature intended.

Aberdeenshire is inundated with Nature Reserves, one of the most popular is Glen Tanar Natural Nature Reserve. Situated in a beautiful glen at the heart of Royal Deeside, a darting red squirrel or an acrobatic Scottish crossbill might be above your head as you wander through ancient trees or, from the banks of the rushing river, you might see the silvery flash of a salmon powering upstream.

If you feel like travelling a little further north of Aberdeen, Sands of Forvie National Nature Reserve is a beautiful spot with endless sand dunes and plentiful birdlife. There is even a special site for history enthusiasts as with the constant shifting of the dunes, layers of the past have come and gone, revealing the half buried remains of a twelfth century church.

Should you continue north, the Loch of Strathbeg in Crimond near Fraserburgh, is not only home to 252 species of bird but is also the largest dune loch in the UK. In winter, thousands of wild geese, swans and ducks fly in, including 20 per cent of the world's population of pink-footed geese. 

To get some hints and tips on the best places to walk and spot wildlife at anytime of the year, visit the Energetica website.

See the East Grampian Coastal Partnership website here for more on our beautiful coastline.