Celebrating our wonderful Cairngorms Nature

Celebrating our wonderful Cairngorms Nature

This year marks the 100th anniversary of John Muir’s death, a man many believe to be the Founding Father of National Parks. He was an exceptional naturalist, explorer, mountaineer, botanist, writer and proud Scot. His extraordinary influence can be seen in America where his work with President Theodore Roosevelt resulted in the President’s innovative conservation programs, inaugurating five national parks, 18 national monuments, 55 national bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges, and...

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In the Park

In the Park

“Casting  9.00 – 18.00” read the notice.  I was on my way to a CNPA Planning Committee meeting in Ballater and the notice, pinned to the village hall door, caught my eye.  Always keen to improve my limited angling skills I thought I would have a look in.  As was probably patently obvious to everyone other than me the event had nothing to do with fishing at all.  Extras were being sought for the latest filming of the classic Howe o’ the Mearns...

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Is there a John Muir for the 21st Century?

Is there a John Muir for the 21st Century?

John Muir is extremely quotable which is a blessing and a curse.  Across his many writings you can find a phrase that usually far better expresses a thought than what you can come up with yourself.  This means they usually brighten up a dull presentation or a chapter in a book but I suspect many people know the quotes rather than his thinking. This year is 100 years since his death and this May we are having a conference in Perth to think about Muir’s legacy and what he means in...

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Telling roe and red deer apart

Telling roe and red deer apart

In Scotland we share our beautiful countryside with one of the most incredible species of animals: deer. While we go about our daily business, these beautiful and shy creatures are grazing, sleeping and looking after their children all away from our view. The Cairngorms National Park is a fantastic place to see roe and red deer; two of the most beautiful deer species in the UK. But if you’re a first time naturalist, how do you know which species you’ve seen ? Here’s my guide to...

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In the Park

In the Park

      I’m not at all sure how it came about but as a small child I owned an apple tree.  The tree was of course much older than I was and my recollection was that most years it produced a vast harvest of large green apples.  I suspect the scale of things was in fact much smaller than I remember and that the real reason I had ownership of the tree was that my elder brothers could then insist that I was responsible for tidying up all the windfall!  Having...

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