Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend a BIG success

After two years online the Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend was finally back as live event.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 6:53 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 6:53 am
Alice Abram's winning wild cat artwork.
Alice Abram's winning wild cat artwork.

Over the weekend of May 12-15 more than 1000 people came out to celebrate in the sunshine.

More than 70 events took place in all corners of the Cairngorms National Park. From organised family events like the Nature Fair in Glen Tanar and the River Adventure on the Spey to creative arts workshops and behind the scenes tours of estates, the weekend was packed full of opportunities to get up close to nature in the National Park.

One of the highlights of the BIG Weekend was the children’s art competition, which was run with digital entries this year. Ten finalists were chosen in two age categories and the shortlist was put online across the BIG Weekend for a nail-biting public vote.

Lewis (9), Stephanie and Falk Kiel enjoy pond dipping at the RZSS Highland Wildlife Park (pic: CNPA/Rachel Keenan.

The winner in the P1-3 group was 5 year old local Hari Blakeney-Scott from Grantown on Spey with a picture of Lochindorb and the P4-7 winner was 9 year old Alice Abram from Country Durham with her Wildcat face. They each win a pair of binoculars along with one of the Cairngorms Nature goody bags that all the 10 finalists received.

Sarah Henshall, Head of Conservation at the Cairngorms National Park Authority had this to say about the weekend: “It was fantastic to be able to welcome people back to the Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend in person.

“Virtual events have their place but there is no substitute for being able to get outside, meet with people and get up close and personal with nature.

“We had everything from live performances inspired by nature to nighttime bat walks, tree climbing, and bog hikes to squirrel trails and ‘bear hunts’.

"The sheer variety of events was outstanding and I’d like to thank all our partners who put in so much effort to run the activities and make this a truly fantastic weekend."

The Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend is a celebration of nature in the National Park, but conservation work, volunteering opportunities and ranger events take place year round – follow the Facebook page to keep up to date www.facebook.com/cairngormsnature