Oly Hemmings and Pete Creech have combined their natural history knowledge to provide a face-to-face wildlife interpretation service. Housed in a 400-year-old farmhouse, the Argyll Beaver Centre is a base for guided-walks and events, a source of information on the area’s wildlife and an education centre. We are a window into the Knapdale world of red squirrels, ravens, pine martens, beavers, ospreys and otters as well as the infinite variety of plant, lichen and bryophyte species to be found in Argyll’s Atlantic Rainforest, one of the world's rarest and most threatened habitats. The centre is wholly off-grid, our power is supplied by a solar array mounted on our cruck-framed barn, our water is supplied by a nearby spring, our heat and hot water from a wood stove, water use is minimised through the use of a compost loo.
We have been running guided beaver walks for 11 years and have added seashore safaris, bat evenings, moth mornings and pond-dipping activities. In 2023 we saw beavers on over 90% of our walks. As well as regular weekly walks, we can arrange bespoke walks tailored to your particular interests: the amazing Atlantic Rainforest, the eco-engineering activities of the beavers, our National Nature Reserves, outstanding archaeology, diverse birdlife etc. The choice is yours!
The visitor centre features hands-on displays, a wildlife feeding station, wildlife hide (red squirrels, badgers and pine martens), children’s activities, shop, compost loo with baby-changing and disabled facilities, car-park with access to walking trails and viewpoint.
The unique nature of Knapdale with its long sea and freshwater lochs bisecting the ridges (knaps) in between has given rise to stunningly beautiful peninsulas cloaked in Atlantic Oak Woodland. We are within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a National Scenic Area (NSA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Nearby are two National Nature Reserves (NNRs) a Marine Protected Area (MPA) and the UK's first Mission Blue Hope Spot.
The centre is open free of charge to visitors. We welcome school and community groups, offering tailored formal and informal education sessions. As a community resource, we are able to host groups for functions.