ONE of Scotland’s most enthralling wildlife spectacles debuts as the centrepiece in a new Ardnamurchan visitor attraction – and may mean a substantial economic boost for the area.

Nature enthusiasts will be able to get up close and personal with golden eagles in their natural habitat among the craggy glens on the peninsula’s wild, western coast.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in partnership with the Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre will host the new attraction, featuring CCTV cameras trained on a deer carcass, which will allow observation of wild golden eagles as they come in and feed.

There will also be extensive new displays about golden eagles, as well as the range of wildlife viewing opportunities that already exist at the centre in Glenmore, near Salen.

On Mull, a similar project allowing people to view white-tailed sea eagles has become a firmly-established tourist magnet, pulling in hordes of wildlife enthusiasts and boosting the island’s economy by as much as £1.7 million annually according to a recent economic assessment.

Dave Sexton, RSPB’s Mull and Ardnamurchan officer, said: “Golden eagles are without doubt one of the most awe-inspiring species in the UK and if you are lucky enough to glimpse a view of them in their natural habitat, the sight will not fail to astound.

“The sea eagle reintroduction on Mull has been a huge success, and many people come to this part of the world now with wildlife watching in mind.

“The economic benefits for Mull have been fantastic, and hopefully this will be repeated here in Ardnamurchan.”

Ritchie Dinnes, manager of the Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre, added: “The eagle viewing gives a new dimension to what we offer at the centre and we’re hopeful it will be a big draw for visitors.

“Already lots of people ask about where they can see golden eagles, and now we’ll be able to give them a chance to see them as well as talk about the species and nature conservation.

“At the centre everything we try and do ties in – we serve local food, promote the area’s natural assets and talk about sustainability.

“Hopefully visitors will agree that you can’t get much better than taking what’s special that you have in an area and showcasing it as well as you can.”