Cairngorms National Park

Uath Lochans from Farleitter Crag, Kingussie

Twinflower makes prestigious shortlist

13th August 2014

The twinflower is one of Scotland’s most endangered and iconic wildflowers and a project to save it has been shortlisted for a RSPB Nature of Scotland Award.

Announced last night (12th August) at a special ceremony held at Holyrood, the twinflower project has been shortlisted for the Species Champion award. A pioneering new translocation method is at the heart of the project, which aims to increase populations by encouraging the plant to reproduce.

The twinflower thrives in native pine woodlands and the number of plants has declined because patches of the flowers are too far apart to be able to successfully pollinate.  This pioneering project in the Cairngorms National Park involves carefully moving selected plants closer together to facilitate cross pollination and seed production.

The new translocation method has been developed by the Cairngorms Rare Plants Project, part of Cairngorms Nature, and it is hoped that the project will see the long term survival of this treasured flower.

Justin Prigmore, Cairngorms Nature Officer explains: “The Twinflower may only be small but it is one of Scotland’s most charismatic plants and the Cairngorms National Park is a stronghold for the remaining population.  It is exciting that this project has been recognised in the Species Champion category because it has been so innovative in seeking a solution to the conservation issues in Scotland.  The Project Officer, Andy Scobie, has been crucial to making it a success and I’m delighted that his hard work is getting acknowledged”.

Andy Wells, Chair of the Cairngorms Nature Strategy Group said: “It is fantastic to see this project getting shortlisted.  It involved land managers and ten key conservation partners as well as rangers and local volunteers. It is an excellent example of how groups and individuals can come together to make a positive difference, which is what Cairngorms Nature is all about.”

The Nature of Scotland awards were launched by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in 2012 to recognise excellence, innovation and outstanding nature conservation in Scotland.