Heritage sites need to be understood in their wider setting. And the visitor experience for those making their way to Threave Castle includes a walk along the river and then a ferry across to the island (included in the entrance fee).
Peregrine falcons have been nesting in the castle, and HES staff were more than helpful in pointing out a female perching in a tree on the far bank.
The Threave estate (NTS) also has an osprey viewing platform.
The ferryman helpfully pointed out a possible archaeological feature emerging from the waters due to the drought conditions. Is this a geological feature or perhaps traces of a ford across the river?
The NTS and HES teams work together to make this a highly rewarding site.
Managing unwanted birds can be be a problem at heritage sites. The team at the National Trust’s Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk has installed a kite raptor on one of the gatehouse towers to deter nesting birds.
This does not seem to have made much of an impact on two pigeons nesting on the top of the adjacent chimney stack.
The dovecot at Crossraguel Abbey is located in the south court. It was constructed in the 16th century and is claimed to be “one of Scotland’s oldest surviving dovecots”. Nesting boxes were built into the interior of the structure.