The Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve is the very Best in Britain - and that’s official.
And Gazette readers played a part in winning it the coveted BBC Countryfile title following a nationwide poll.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust, which runs the reserve from its New Lanark base, this week thanked Gazette readers for the votes they sent in after an article on the Falls’ bid for the title by Features Editor Julie Currie.
The national recognition for decades of dedicated work is being celebrated this week by the Rangers and staff at the reserve, now officially the UK’s leading haven for wildlife.
Clare Toner, Clyde Valley Ranger with the Trust, said: “We’re delighted that Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve has been named Reserve of the Year 2019. I’d like to thank everyone across the country who has voted for us.
“So many fantastic places for wildlife were shortlisted so it is a true thrill to win this award.
“The reserve is a stunningly beautiful place.
“The dramatic waterfalls and ancient woodland make it a great place to explore at any time of year, and it is home to a wide range of wildlife including dippers, otters, badgers and several species of bat,” she continued.
“We have lots of events coming up this year both on the reserve and in our visitor centre, including our popular People’s Postcode Lottery Dipper Watch and guided Badger Watches, so there are plenty of reasons for people to pay us a visit in 2019.”
The reserve also hosts Scotland’s Badger Hub, a base for training events and volunteering opportunities.
The Falls have been a national attraction since the 19th century, visited and painted by the artist Turner and eulogised by poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.