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Learning on National Nature Reserves

National Nature Reserves external site  (NNRs) provide great opportunities to enjoy the very best of Scotland's nature and offer a wealth of opportunities for outdoor learning.  You are welcome to visit any NNR for learning, providing you act responsibly external site .  You can find out more about each NNR external site , e.g. what makes it special; why it is managed as it is; facilities or location external site , by visiting the NNR website external site .  All NNRs have publications giving further information, which will be of interest to you and your pupils before, during and after your visit.  

Support for your visit to an NNR

Some NNRs have staff, education resources or can share experiences of previous education projects to help you plan or make your visit, for instance:

Abernethy NNR external site  is a fragile mosaic of ancient Caledonian pinewood, moorland, bog and mountain.  Bring it alive for pupils by using the Abernethy NNR education pack  external site

Blawhorn Moss NNR external site  is a rare survivor of the raised and blanket peat bogs which once covered much of Central Scotland.  The Peatland Education Resource external site  can highlight its relevance to the curriculum and the Teaching in Nature Blawhorn Moss case study  PDF document  highlights the impact a visit there can have on teachers and pupils alike.  

At Forvie NNR external site  birdlife is plentiful; you can watch the acrobatics of the diving terns, the determined stabbing of the carrot-coloured beaks of wading oystercatchers and hear the call of the eider ducks.  Contact staff external site to help you plan or make a visit there with your pupils. 

Isle of May NNR external site is a magical mix of sea birds, seals and smugglers.  See and hear it without leaving the classroom with the virtual tour. Those who can make the visit will find the education materials external site (still relevant for CfE) helpful.

At Knockan Crag NNR external site learn about Scotland's story of ancient oceans, vast deserts and ice sheets, crashing continents and epic journey from pole to pole. Contact them for information on educational materials external site .

Loch Leven NNR external site  is a huge expanse of open water, providing an ideal home for countless birds. Well located for many schools, Loch Leven has been the site of education projects such as Teaching in Nature (see the Loch Leven case study  PDF document ) and Growing up with Loch Leven external site

Muir of Dinnet NNR external site  blends woodland, heath, open water and an impressive example of nature's sculptural work, all on one site. A Muir of Dinnet education pack external site is available to support you to visit with your class.

In the harsh world of St Cyrus NNR external site , ravaged by the wind and sea, a wealth of specialist plants and animals have adapted to conditions not unlike those of a desert.  Contact staff external site to help you plan or make your visit to St Cyrus. 

Taynish NNR external site  is a peaceful oak woodland, interspersed with grassland, heath, saltmarsh and shoreline to give a truly amazing variety of wildlife.  Take inspiration from their annual Snapberry project external site , working with local secondary pupils. 

Tentsmuir NNR external site  exhibits a spectrum of nature from the constantly moving sand at the edge of the sea to the colourful dune heathland and inland Morton Loch.  Staff are used to developing and leading a range of educational visits external site  and offer an education pack to support you in planning your own visit.