Strathbeg is Britain’s largest dune loch and a winter home for vast numbers of Pink-footed Geese. There’s an array of wetland wildlife waiting to be discovered here, including breeding Terns and gulls, migrating waders and wintering wildfowl.
Strathbeg is surrounded by wetland, dunes and grassland – head to the hide for sweeping views across the reserve’s mix of habitats. In spring, we’re a haven for breeding birds, while autumn and winter see vast flocks of Pink-footed Geese arrive to swim on the loch, and roost and feed in the nearby fields and pools.
RSPB Scotland is hard at work at Loch of Strathbeg, creating the ideal conditions for the wildlife that calls it home.
Most of our efforts are in support of our population of at least 20,000 wintering wildfowl, which includes Whooper Swans, Pink-footed Geese and Teals. We use grazing and carefully control water levels to help us maintain a suitable balance of open water and grassland.
We're improving the wet grassland for breeding waders, including Lapwings and Redshanks, by keeping grass levels low, controlling scrub and rushes, and managing seasonal flooding. Work includes grazing, upgrading sluices (gates that control water flow) and removing invasive plants. We’re also managing dry grassland for wintering geese and farmland birds.
We keep an eye on all species and habitats to make sure our work is effective. This includes winter wildfowl counts and standard monitoring of other birds. We also monitor key mammal, fish and plant species, plus water levels, grass height and soil quality.
Here at the Loch of Strathbeg, we are managing wetlands through a mixture of mechanical cutting and grazing by our herd of Konik Ponies. The cutting and grazing keep the vigorous soft rush in check, making room for smaller, more delicate flowering plants.