Biodiversity action in the Cairngorms
Cairngorms BigBioBuzz Day
Three simultaneous 24-hour events to celebrate and highlight biodiversity were held in the Cairngorms National Park to mark the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010.
People from Grantown-on-Spey, Kingussie and Ballater came together with wildlife and nature experts from the National Park ranger service to record as many plants, birds, mammals, insects and amphibians as possible during their events.
- Over the three different sites an impressive 1,589 records were taken representing 639 different species
- Ballater narrowly edged Grantown-on-Spey out with 683 records (402 species) to 662 records (371 species)
- The Kingussie event was smaller in scale, but still managed 244 records which represented 209 different species
Events included guided walks, talks, mini-beast hunts, pond dipping, moth trapping, bat/bird box building, bush craft, storytelling, rush-weaving, owl pellet dissection, photography and extensive nature art/craft activities with the focus on the biodiversity on our doorsteps.
- The Grantown event was attended by around 500 people (20% of the town’s population)
- Ballater was attended by around 200 people
- Kingussie was attended by just under 100 people
- Events were attended mainly by local people - large numbers of primary school-age children were at the Grantown event
- Two new ponds for wildlife were dug in Grant park in Grantown
Cairngorms Rare Plants Project
With £160,000 of funding from the Esmee Fairburn Foundation, the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage via the Species Action Framework, and in-kind contributions from the University of Aberdeen, this three year project (started in March 2010) offers a unique opportunity to help conserve some of the rarest plants in the Cairngorms National Park.
The project will focus on four species, twinflower (Linnaea borealis), intermediate wintergreen (Pyrola media), small cow-wheat (Melampyrum sylvaticum) and lesser butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia). The plants targeted through this project have their main UK stronghold in the Cairngorms and are in desperate need of immediate conservation action and this project will draw together the most appropriate methods and deliver action to ensure a significant improvement in the conservation status of these highly at risk species.
The project will focus on research through practical management. Monitoring will be undertaken and control non-intervention plots will be set up. Measures of population health in non-intervention sites will indicate the level of change over time and act as a baseline for managed sites. Site managers will be trained in simple monitoring techniques to ensure that monitoring continues beyond the end of the project.
For more information or to get involved contact Andy Scobie, Cairngorms Rare Plants Project Officer by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01479 810477.