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Animal Attraction Winter

Animal Attraction

At Beecraigs, visitors can experience the Red Deer herd, Highland Cattle fold, Belted Galloways and Hebridean and North Ronaldsay Sheep.

The animal attraction at Beecraigs Country Park is a great place to visit. The Park is open throughout the year and admission is free. 

The Sutherland Way walkway provides access between the fields and provides visitors with views across the landscape and of the Belted Galloways, Highland Cattle, Red Deer and Hebridean and North Ronaldsay Sheep.
Our viewing shed, gives closer access to view the animals.  The shed is also used for lambing, calving cows and as extra winter housing. Please contact the Visitor Centre for up to date information on which animals are able to be viewed.

The viewing shed has now reopened to the public, where we intend to have two orphan lambs in the end pen for viewing, as well as Hebredian and Blackface ewes with lambs. Come and have a look!

Latest news - Beecraigs Country Park - Beecraigs Loch

Work is due to start on Monday 26th February on the reservoir dam wall at Beecraigs Loch, Beecraigs Country Park. To allow this work to be carried out safely, we will have to close the loch path from the Fishing Lodge to the entrance of the Animal Attraction. It is expected that the work will take 8 weeks but this will depend on the weather. This section of path will remain closed throughout but you will still be able to access Beecraigs Loch and the Animal Attraction during this time but you will not be able to walk right around the loch.
The Parks and Woodland team would like to thank visitors for their co-operation in following the signs and diversions.
Please see the map below for path closures

Animal Attraction updates

Adult hinds are now inside for the winter and calves are weaned and also inside.  The stags are back together as a group outside.  The hinds can be viewed in the pole barn as well as stags that you can see from the walkways.

Red Deer herd

Established in 1977, the red deer herd is maintained as a visitor attraction. Guided walks are run throughout the year. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the views from the raised platform and explore the walkways through the fields.

Calves can be born from April/May onwards and sightings of the young calves may be possible as you walk down the Sutherland Way footpath. Winter visits to the Animal Attraction give visitors excellent opportunities to see and hear impressive red deer stags roaring during the rut. In the winter female hind deer can be viewed (up close) from just behind the Visitors Centre.

Highland Cattle fold

Highland cattle 3
Highland cattle 3
You may meet the Highland Cattle fold that arrived at Beecraigs in the summer of 2010. Our first calf arrived in 2014. This naturally hardy breed are a welcome attraction at the Country Park having been sourced from the award-winning cattle based at Glasgow City Council's Pollok Country Park. The cows with their young are popular with visitors and keep a look out for our our 6 year-old  "Woodneuk" bull called "Jock".  So far this season 7 calves have been born with more to follow!

Belted Galloway Cattle

The 'Belties' joined the Beecraigs' Animal Attraction in June 2014 coming from the renowned Barwise Herd near Appleby and are an interesting contrast to the Highland Cattle.

New Beltie Calf
New calf

They can all be viewed from the Sutherland Way area. Originally from Galloway in the west of Scotland this cattle breed, with its double layer coat of long shaggy top coat and thick thermal undercoat, is well suited to year-round outdoor rough grazing and it produces a quality marbled beef.  This hardy, easy-care, slow growing breed will fit in well with our other native Scottish animals at the Attraction.

So far 2 calves have been born in Spring 2017.

The Belties along with the Highland cattle are now being used for conservation grazing in the Autumn to help manage the two wildflower meadows at Beecraigs. They do this by eating out the more vigorous grass and allowing wildflowers to grow.

Hebridean Sheep

Hebridean Sheep NEW
Hebridean Sheep NEW
In August 2015 a flock of 20 Hebridean Sheep added a new dimension to the Beecraigs' Animal Attraction. This relatively small, fine boned sheep has black/brown/Grey wool with glossy black hair on its face and legs.  Both sexes commonly display two or more black horns and have hazel/yellow-brown eyes.

15 lambs (3 rams and 12 ewes) were born at Beecraigs in 2016 and another six breeding ewes have been added to the flock.

North Ronaldsay Sheep

North Ronaldsay Sheep
North Ronaldsay Sheep

North Ronaldsay sheep have been welcomed to the Beecraigs Animal Attraction, giving a total of seven (three ewes and four rams) very rare native Scottish breed sheep (there are only 500 registered ewes left).  They are a similar, hardy ancient rare breed to the Hebridean sheep, being small and fine boned but come in a range of colours (shades of beiges and browns), some have horns and some don't. There is hope that these sheep can be used as a breeding flock in the future, part of a national breeding program designed to save the breed.

Winter at Beecraigs

Winter at Beecraigs can be harsh as the Bathgate Hills are often blasted with strong, icy winds, heavy rain and deep snow. The red deer stags, yearling Hinds, adult Highland Cattle and Hebridean sheep stay outdoors over the winter but the pregnant hinds, last year's red deer calves and Highland youngsters get access to indoor sheds.

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