Atholl Estates Ranger Service assists visitors in their understanding and enjoyment of the area and also plays a role in countryside education and conservation. The Estates extend beyond Glen Bruar and Glen Tilt in the north to Dunkeld and Birnam in the south and cover 58,000 hectares.
Visit their website for information about their busy events diary, including guided walks and nature rambles, some of which are especially for children. The website also displays up-to-date access information for walkers visiting Atholl Estates, and they publish a range of printed material, including walking and cycling routes.
The Ranger Service can be contacted all year round by telephone or e-mail. The Atholl Estates Ranger Service Information Centre in Blair Atholl is open from April to October, 9.00 am to 4.45 pm, with staff available from 9.00 to 10.00 am and 3.30 to 4.45 pm.
Tractor Tours Experience the works of Blair Castle's Home Farm on a trailer ride tour, pulled by a farm tractor. Fun for all the family, the tour will take in the managed landscape and farm buildings surrounding Blair Castle.
Land Rover Tours Take a Dawn or Dusk Land Rover Tour into the hills with one of the Estates experienced game-keepers and see the stunning landscape bathed in morning light and mist. Listen to the sounds of the dawn chorus and have the opportunity to see wildlife including black grouse, red deer, birds of prey and red squirrels in their natural habitats.
Wildlife Atholl Estates covers a vast area and wildlife is in abundance, but here's a small insight to what you might see on a day out...
For the quiet and observant visitor the estates hosts many miles of waymarked trails to help you discover the wildlife of this working landscape. In the woods, red squirrels are common, with grey squirrels only being found at the southern end of the estate around Dunkeld. Try walking our Red Squirrel Trail for a good chance of seeing one. Otters, Dippers, Wagtails and Salmon can all be seen down at the riverside. Higher up in the moors and mountains, Red Deer, Golden Eagles, Red Grouse, Ptarmigan, Hen Harriers, Merlin and Osprey can all be seen. There is also a wide diversity of interesting upland plant species.
A snippet of the seasons... Springtime is a seen of delicate anemones and wood sorrel, brash bluebells and pungent wild garlic carpet the woods but enjoy them before they disappear without a trace.
Summer is the time to see the beautiful butterflies and dramatic dragonflies. The evenings are a great time to see the Pipistrelle Bats in woodland clearings, respect them as they eat thousands of midges every night!
The colours of Autumn are enhanced by the wide variety of species planted on the estate which give an array of reds, oranges and golds. This is the time of the red deer rut, the sound of stags roaring echoes round the hills and glens. Stags will vye for harems of hinds, continually challenging each other by roaring and if necessary fighting.
Winter sees the arrival of the Greylag geese from the far north. They come to the fields, where they graze on the grass. Whooper swans, which have a yellow and black beak, will also spend winter on the ponds and lochs on Atholl Estates.