Castle’s wildlife attraction

A roe deer at Crathes Castle
A roe deer at Crathes Castle

Crathes Castle is a magnet for small mammals.

The popular Deeside visitor attraction has the highest number and widest range of species, according to the findings of a new study.

A wildlife count by the Mammal Atlas of North East Scotland and the Cairngorms has revealed 27 different species were recorded in the castle area.

These ranged from bats and badgers, to red squirrels, roe deer, mice and voles.

The research was carried out by volunteers and organised by the North East Scotland Records Centre.

Toni Watt, of the National Trust for Scotland’s North East Ranger service, said: “We always knew Crathes was a great place to see Scotland’s wild mammals, but now it’s official.

“As the authors of the mammal atlas say, this is because Crathes estate is made up of a diversity of habitats, including coniferous and broadleaved woodlands, waterways and mixed farming.

“The good news is that we have plenty of formalised countryside access to encourage people to come onto the estate to see all of the wildlife we have here for themselves, not just mammals.”

She added: “I hope this news encourages more people to come to Crathes for a walk in breath-taking countryside with a very good chance of seeing some of our magnificent wildlife.

“The possibilities are endless, especially as we are putting on special animal tracks and walks for children over the school holidays.”