The natural environment of Cowal not only provides wonderful vistas, but also wildlife in plenty, from red squirrels and red deer in the woods (which can both be seen in the grounds of the hotel) to otters, porpoises, dolphins and basking sharks in the sea lochs.

Bird life is everywhere because of the wide range of different habitats. Cowal is the domain of birds of the prey and red deer, and many species may be spotted within the unspoilt Argyll Forest Park, part of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

The endangered Red Squirrel

Around the Cowal peninsula, you may be fortunate enough to spot one of the endangered Red squirrels as they live in the woods at the back of the hotel grounds. The red squirrel is slightly smaller than the common eastern grey squirrel with a Typical head to body length of 19 to 23cm and a tail length of 15 to 20 cm, unfortunately the grey squirrel is the main reason for the red squirrels decline and you will see the many measures taken to try to preserve this endangered species such as their own rope bridges and tunnel across the busier roads!!

Loch Lomond National Park

The Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park encompasses some of the finest scenery in Cowal.

It is an area of contrasts from sea shore to high mountains and has many rivers and lochs, forests and woodlands. There are good numbers of mammal species throughout the park area, including red and roe deer, otters, red squirrels and pine marten.

In the sea lochs are common seals, porpoises and otters with the occasional dolphin, basking shark and even sometimes a whale. The park is particularly rich in birdlife. On the hills and moors live curlew, snipe, raven, red grouse, ptarmigan and golden eagle.

On one or two of the hill lochans there are red-throated divers. Woodland provides habitat for flycatcher and redstart, warblers, finches and tits, with buzzards and the occasional sea eagle soaring overhead and occasionally black grouse.

The shoreline provides even more bird species, including oystercatcher and heron. Eider and merganser can be spotted near the water’s edge with the spectacular dive of a gannet a common sight farther out.


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