Forvie National Nature Reserve
Little Collieston Croft
Forvie National Nature Reserve (NNR) is a huge area of sand dunes and heath which also includes an internationally important bird sanctuary, 12km north of Aberdeen.
The estuary, dunes and seacliffs combine to make this a particularly rich area for a variety of plants and wildlife. In particular, it supports the largest colony of breeding eider duck in Britain and large numbers of geese and wading birds in winter. The heather moor blooms in August but is a great lowland walking site at any time of year.
There are 16km of waymarked paths to explore, including 800m of easy access route with picnic tables suitable for wheelchair users. A short picture trail has characters from the past at Forvie Kirk.
Seals can be viewed at Newburgh, a short walk from the public car park at Beach Road.
The Forvie Centre, open daily April to October and other times by request, has toilets and information about the reserve.
There are two main entrances to the reserve:
The Waterside car park is 1 mile north of Newburgh, off the A975 at the River Ythan. Parking at Waterside car park is restricted to 2.2m width, no height restriction. Coaches can park in a dedicated layby at the road side or access to coach parking can be arranged in advance.
The Visitor Centre Car Park is 3 miles north of Newburgh, off the B9003. Turn right at the Collieston crossroads, and follow the signs to the centre.
There are also a number of lay-bys just off the A975 that offer good views across the NNR. The Waulkmill Hide can be accessed by turning left off the A975 opposite the Collieston junction.
Public Transport Directions
By Public Transport: Aberdeen-Peterhead (via Cruden Bay) buses stop by request at Collieston crossroads, a 20 minute walk from the visitor centre, or at Oceanlab in Newburgh (1/2 mile from the estuary).
The nearest train station is Aberdeen (16 miles).
By Bike: National Cycle Network Route 1 Aberdeen – John O’Groats starts 12 miles from the Reserve, in Aberdeen. The Formartine and Buchan Way (Dyce – Fraserburgh) runs through Ellon, 6 miles from the Reserve.
On Foot: There is a footpath from Newburgh to Waterside car park and the mouth of the Ythan. The Formartine and Buchan Way (Dyce – Fraserburgh) starts in Dyce, 14 miles from the Reserve.