Getting out and about in Year of Natural Scotland

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Local residents and visitors to the Scottish Borders are being encouraged to make the most of wildlife opportunities in the area and beyond.

VisitScotland and Scottish Natural Heritage have launched their UK marketing campaign to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 selecting five of Scotland’s iconic indigenous species for the campaign: red deer, golden eagle, harbour seal, otter and red squirrels.

The joint-initiative aims to inspire people to get out and about and also visit a dedicated website www.visitscotland.com/big5 which contains information about where to see the Big 5 in Scotland. The campaign also highlights local wildlife opportunities and offers the chance to enter a competition to win a trip to see the Big 5 in their natural habitats around the country.

Scottish Natural Heritage wants as many people as possible to try to spot all of the Big 5 during the Year of Natural Scotland and to share their experiences through Twitter and Facebook. While spotting the Big 5 may take planning and patience, it can be achieved by almost anyone.

Paula McDonald, regional director of VisitScotland, said: “We are lucky in the Scottish Borders to have so many fantastic choices for nature tourism, whether it be heading out to St Abbs Head National Nature Reserve, joining one of the walks during the week long Scottish Borders Walking Festival or visiting a great wildlife attraction in the region.

“I’d encourage everyone to take a look and see what’s available on their doorstep and go for it.

Scottish Natural Heritage’s Ian Jardine added: In Scotland we have a good chance to see these distinctive animals in a wild setting We know that’s why many come to Scotland.”