Montrose Basin Visitor Centre’s 20th birthday bash

Pictured with Scottish Wildlife Trust staff members Blair Wilkie and Kelly Ann Dempsey are some of the youngsters who had a go at pond dipping at Saturday's open day celebrating the 20th anniversary of the opening of the centre.
Pictured with Scottish Wildlife Trust staff members Blair Wilkie and Kelly Ann Dempsey are some of the youngsters who had a go at pond dipping at Saturday's open day celebrating the 20th anniversary of the opening of the centre.

The Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre has celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special open day on Saturday (June 27).

On a warm and sunny day, the public were able to experience the visitor centre, meet with volunteers and discover what makes the Basin so special, and all for free.

Opened 20 years ago by broadcaster Magnus Magnusson, who described that occasion as “a peerless day in a peerless place”, the centre was designed by local architect John Tavendale and has been going strong ever since, thanks to the hard work put in by the volunteers.

Emma Castle-Smith, visitor centre assistant manager, told us: “We were very pleased with the turnout on what was a good and successful day for the centre.

“We had a total of 40 children enjoying activities with our teacher naturalists.”

As for celebrations among the staff, Emma explained: “On Friday night, we had an informal gathering at the Occasions Suite on Montrose’s Bridge Street and it was fantastic to get together with staff both old and new and hear about the things that have happened over the past 20 years.”

Asked about what was next for the highly-acclaimed centre, Emma said: “We’re going to concentrate on having a good summer and attracting as many people as possible to pay us a visit.”

With activities like pond dipping and mud safaris available with teacher naturalists, Emma described a visit to the Montrose Basin Wildlife Centre as a “great experience” for children.

Smiling, Emma added: “There is no reason for any boredom in Montrose this summer!”

The Visitor Centre is open all-year-round – from March 1 to October 31 from 10.30am to 5pm and Friday to Sunday from November 1 to February 28 from 10.30am to 4pm. It costs £4 per adult, £3 concessions and £7.50 for a family ticket (two adults and two children).

For more information, call 01674 676336, or visit scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk.