[This blog first appeared on greentraveller]
Scottish railway company ScotRail has teamed up with a local wildlife organisation to help passengers appreciate the wildlife along the River Tay and its estuary.
Holidaymakers and other customers on its Perth to Dundee and Montrose routes can now download a “Travelling along the Tay” leaflet from ScotRail’s website, which describes the different habitats that the railway passes through.
The River Tay and its estuary are rich in birdlife, and internationally recognised as a Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation. Species passengers might spot include pinkfoot and greylag geese, peregrine falcons, kittiwakes, puffins and the white-tailed sea eagle, which has recently been re-introduced to the area.
The Tayside Biodiversity Partnership reveals that it is not uncommon for seals to swim as far upstream as Perth, while in the tidal basin by Montrose station, arctic, common and little terns can be seen.
ScotRail’s John Yellowlees says travelling by rail is an excellent way to appreciate the area. “The shore-hugging stretch of route from Perth to Montrose has an exceptional continuity of habitat, with many perspectives that are unavailable from the road – and certainly not safely visible to the hard-pressed car driver,” he notes.
The wildlife leaflet is the latest in a series of guides designed to attract day-trippers and holidaymakers to the region. Earlier this year, five other illustrated downloadable guides were launched, highlighting the scenery, heritage and attractions of ScotRail’s Ayr to Stranraer line; Glasgow/Ayr-Carlisle line; and West Highland, Kyle and Far North Lines.
The West Highland line winning Wanderlust magazine’s Top Rail Journey in the World award the last two years, combined with these new guides, has helped boost awareness of rail holidays in the region, John added.
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