Setting sail for May’s new season

The Isle of May in the Firth of Forth
The Isle of May in the Firth of Forth
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The first puffins have already started to arrive at the popular Isle of May national nature reserve, as it gears up for visitors this year.

The island is renowned for its bird populations, its seals, its history and its carpets of flowers.

The reserve, at the mouth of the Forth, has a boat service from Anstruther and East Lothian during the visitor season, which this year begins tomorrow (Thursday).

David Pickett, reserve manager, said: “The Isle of May is a wonderful place to see seabirds and seals – and it’s certainly the best place in Scotland to see puffins.

“The island is a world dominated by birds and seals – a bit of role reversal from what we’re used to and an amazing experience. We hope to see lots of people out this year, enjoying all the amazing sights.”

It’s free to visit the nature reserve, but you must take a boat trip to reach the island.

Sailings are on the privately-run May Princess or Osprey from Anstruther Harbour or through the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick.

Roderick Campbell, North East Fife MSP, has welcomed the beginning of the new tourist season on the May.

He said: “Tourism is an essential industry in North East Fife and the Isle of May is a real highlight for any trip to this part of the world.

“The reserve is an excellent resource right on Fife’s doorstep for any budding bird-watchers or botanists, or just day-trippers.

“Whilst there is a live camera feed of part of the Island, it doesn’t compare to seeing the full landscape, in person.

“Hopefully the weather will be kind this year, and visitors will be able to flock to see just what the Isle of May has to offer.”