Glen Tanar secures further SNH licence

Golden Eagle at Glen Tanar
Golden Eagle at Glen Tanar
  • Two new species to capture on camera
  • Opportunity to explore moorland and woodland of Glen Tanar

A Deeside estate is extending the focus of its wildlife photography packages, adding two more species that can be captured on camera.

The latest licence from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) permits Glen Tanar Estate, near Aboyne on Royal Deeside, to allow photography of its resident merlins - the UK’s smallest falcon – along with its peregrine falcons.

Last year the estate gained SNH licences for photography of hen harriers, ospreys and golden eagles. The estate is also home to red deer and black grouse, this mix offering fantastic opportunities for photographers to capture stunning wildlife images in a natural environment.

The very exclusive photography packages are limited in number in order to minimise disturbance to the species or habitat.

Estate wildlife manager Colin McClean says: “After discussions with SNH, we have been able to secure these new licences to operate additional photography hides for merlins and peregrine falcons.

“In both cases we are not planning to do photography at the nest, but instead use natural perches around the nest that the parents use when they are feeding or just having a break.

We have been able to secure new licences to operate additional photography hides for merlins and peregrine falcons.

Colin McClean, Estate Wildlife Manager

“Those perches are probably going to be at least 100m from the chicks. This should reduce disturbance to a minimum and is part of the sensitive approach we adopt.”

Photographers will be accompanied by a wildlife guide and will have the sole use of a mobile hide which will be positioned close to the perches. Photographers will be able to capture different species at various points of the year, with packages timed around the animals’ breeding seasons to offer the best opportunities.

Depending on the time of year, photographers may be able to capture more than one species. April and May is the ideal time to photograph black grouse, while June and July offer opportunities to spot hen harrier, golden eagles and osprey.

Photographers will be able to go stalking with cameras in late October for the red deer season.

The packages will also offer visitors an opportunity to explore Glen Tanar’s vast landscapes of moorland and woodland, which in themselves draw photographers to the area each year.

Glen Tanar Estate is set in the Cairngorms National Park and offers a wealth of activities and attractions from fishing and walking to adventuring on estate safaris.

For more information on Glen Tanar Estate’s photography hides, visit