Column: Discover more about how people and nature are working together
The past year has highlighted to many of us the benefits of connecting with nature by getting out and about into the stunning habitats and landscapes we have right here on our doorstep; woodland, wetlands, ancient grasslands, moorlands and mountain tops.
These habitats are all special and precious in the own unique ways and safeguarding, protecting and enhancing them is key to protect the many rare and endangered species that live within them.
Across the Cairngorms National Park we have a great number of people dedicated to doing just that; landowners, farmers, conservation organisations, volunteers, communities and individuals, all working together to protect and enhance this place we all love to call home.
Conservation work takes many different forms and involves a huge variety of activities.
Some work is on a huge landscape scale, using large machinery to restore damaged peatland on our exposed uplands, or to sink tree debris into rivers to reinstate natural features, manage water flow and create habitats for fish and invertebrates.
At the other end of the scale there are projects at work to rear tiny hoverflies with the hope of safeguarding them against extinction.
There are also a huge variety of people who take part in conservation activities, it’s not just limited to specialist ecologists.
Farmers, landowners, estate workers, community groups and individual volunteers all play their part in making the Cairngorms National Park a great place for nature and people to thrive together.
Each May the Cairngorms Nature team celebrate this amazing conservation at the Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend.
It’s a chance to showcase the work of so many people and partners and it’s a chance for you to have a glimpse behind the scenes to find out what conservation really means, and how it works.
This year, with the continuing pandemic and associated restrictions, we’ve had to re-think the way we celebrate and showcase all the great conservation work that’s being done and we have decided to bring Cairngorms Nature Home.
Like many events in these times we are hosting it virtually, with guest blogs, videos and webinars it will be a chance for everyone, anywhere to get a glimpse into the world of conservation in the Cairngorms National Park.
We have a behind the scenes look into how wildcats are being bred to get ready to be released into the wild, you can join a webinar to discover what the plans are and how individuals in our communities can get involved.
The Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms Project is looking at some of the smallest and rarest species we have living here in the Park and you can find out how becoming a volunteer can make such a difference and be so rewarding.
We will also have a live discussion panel of guests, on why we need nature and nature needs us, debating the bigger issues affecting us all.
As well as the on-line activities some of the ranger services across the Park are putting on self-guided trails and activities, uncovering the secrets our local green spaces have locked away and hidden inside them.
To learn more about the conservation work taking place across the Cairngorms National Park, visit the Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend website at www.cairngormsnaturebigweekend.com over the weekend of May 14 – 16.
Each day we will be bringing you online activities, blogs, films music and art.
There will be family-friendly activities designed for those who may be quite new to nature watching, through to specialists and exclusive items with experts.
Discover how people and nature are working together in this very special place.