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Have an ‘awe-tumn’ time exploring hidden wildlife spots with Inverness Area Countryside Ranger

A recent Rangers ‘fungi foray’ event

With Autumn showing itself in each fallen leaf, now is a great chance to wrap up warm and explore the striking colours and varied wildlife that the season has to offer.

In recognition of what Autumn brings, High Life Highland’s Countryside Ranger for the Inverness Area, John Orr, will be leading two walks in November showcasing three of the city’s best-loved sites: the Caledonian Canal, Merkinch Nature Reserve, and the Ness Islands.

John shared: “I’m really looking forward leading these walks around Inverness; Autumn is such a special time of year to be out and about exploring the gems within Inverness’ crown.

“We’ll be joined by Rebekah Stevenson from Scottish Canals, to explore both the Caledonian Canal and Merkinch Local Nature Reserve on the first walk, which is family friendly.

“The other walk takes in the Ness Islands and the River Ness, which are especially good for spotting and admiring wildlife at this time of year – but please note that this walk is open to adults only.

“Each walk will be between 3-4km long, taking no more than 2 hours at an easy-going pace, with plenty of opportunities to pause and reflect on various scenes and wildlife spotted along the way.

“So, not only will you get your daily steps in, you’ll also get to take a closer look at some of Inverness’ more hidden wildlife spots.”

Imogen Furlong, High Life Highland’s Ranger Service Manager, concluded: “It’s wonderful for our Ranger John to be working in partnership with Rebekah at Scottish Canals to promote the beauty and biodiversity that canals bring to urban spaces.

“Canals act as corridors for wildlife connecting habitats and allowing movement, whilst providing an all-important aquatic environment that supports various species and contributes to ecological richness.”

The first guided walk is titled, ‘Canals, Curlews and Cormorants’ and takes place from 3pm to 5pm on Wednesday 8th November.

Attendees can expect to take in some of the beautiful Merkinch Local Nature Reserve, explore their history, and to spot some wildlife along the tow path and seawall.

Meeting spot: Tree House, Carsegate Road, Inverness, IV3 8EX

Total distance: 4km, wheelchair accessible.

Booking reference: ACT001329

The second guided walk is titled, ‘Autumn on the Ness Islands’ and takes place from 10:30am to 12pm on Thursday 16th November.

Attendees can expect to enjoy the stunning autumn colours on this stroll around the Ness Islands and the River Ness, looking for wildlife and delving into the history of these beautiful Islands along the way.

Meeting spot: Main entrance bridge to Ness Islands at Bught Park (opposite mini golf)

Total distance: 3km, family friendly.

Booking reference: ACT001330

To book a slot, please visit: https://booking.highlifehighland.com/programme/2 and input the booking reference number of your chosen walk.

These guided walks are held with no charge but rely on donations to help protect Highland wildlife and heritage, as well as support future guided walks. Any donation given will be gratefully received.