A north-east beauty spot is in the running to be named the nations favourite.
RSPB Loch of Strathbeg joins reserves from across the UK as a finalist in this year’s LandLove awards.
The annual ceremony heaps praise on hot spots, places to stay and eateries which help boost the nation’s tourism.
Britain’s largest dune loch will now go up against the likes of Glengarriff Woods National Park in County Cork and Blakeney National Nature Reserve in Norfolk to clinch the title.
Voting closes in January.
The Loch of Strathbeg, near Crimond, is regarded as one of Aberdeenshire’s crown jewels and work is currently underway to revamp its visitor centre.
The £300,000 project, which started last month, will provide new toilet facilities and a new office for staff. They are expected to be completed by March next year.
The development also includes a major overhaul of the reserve’s volunteer accommodation which can house to up to 25 people.
Richard Humpidge, site manager at RSPB Scotland Loch of Strathbeg, said the team was “really excited” to get going.
“The upgrades to the visitor facilities will help promote the area’s outstanding potential for wildlife tourism, while improvements to the volunteer house will more than double the accommodation space available,” he said.
Mr Humpidge added that with autumn a popular time for visitors, “every possible effort” will be made to minimise disruption.
Work to improve the facilities on site has been funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, with support from Friends of Strathbeg and the local RSPB group.
Loch of Strathbeg is home to more than 560 species of wildlife, and in the autumn and winter provides a home to thousands of wild geese, swans and ducks – including up to 20% of the world’s population of pink-footed geese.
Earlier this year, a rare black stork was also spotted in the reserve.
It is thought to be the first time in 17 years that the species has landed in the north-east.