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Big BioBuzz for Park communities

7th May 2010

With only two weeks to go until the first ‘Big BioBuzz Day’ in the Cairngorms National Park, local people and visitors alike are being encouraged to keep Saturday 22nd May free and get along to their nearest event in Grantown-on-Spey, Kingussie or Ballater.

The three simultaneous 24 hour events are being held to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010 which is a unique opportunity to increase the understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth.

The Cairngorms Local Biodiversity Action Plan is running the events to coincide with International Biodiversity Day and Scottish Biodiversity Week.

The events aim to get as many people as possible involved in biodiversity-related activities in a 24 hour period and collect as much information as possible on animals, plants and habitats in their respective localities.

Staff from the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Ranger Services and other partners will help to identify plants, birds, mammals, insects and amphibians, and pass on knowledge and showcase obscure or unusual species.

As well as a plethora of walks and talks to look at and hear about the wide range of biodiversity on offer in the Cairngorms National Park, other attractions from story telling and bushcraft to arts and mask making are also included. A more detailed programme for each event with times is available by logging on to Cairngorms Biodiversity.

Cairngorms biodiversity officer Stephen Corcoran said: “The website enables people to upload images, photos, film or audio of biodiversity they record up to and including the Big BioBuzz Day, so if people see something interesting in their garden or when they are out walking the dog, they don’t have to wait until the day itself to tell us all about it. Alternatively, people can pick up the new Cairngorms biodiversity recording card and note what they see in and around their community, and hand this in on the 22 May. The new recording booklets are available from the Visitor Information Points, Ranger Bases and Park Authority offices.

“We hope that the Big BioBuzz Days in the Cairngorms will draw people in to find out more about the rich biodiversity that can be found right on their doorsteps. Spring is a fantastic time of year as everything comes to life and it’s a great opportunity to experience first-hand how special the Cairngorms National Park really is.

“Our broad range of wildlife and nature experts will give those taking part a unique perspective of their local areas that I’m sure will both surprise and delight those who come along.

“From early birds to night owls, there will be something for everyone. Dawn walks to see wading birds and listen to the dawn chorus will be on offer. Evening walks to inspect moth traps and look for nocturnal species like owls and bats will also be available.

Each location also has a designated headquarters. In Grantown on Spey it is in Grant Park, opposite the Craiglynne Hotel as well as inside the Grant Arms Hotel in the Square. In Ballater it will be the Victoria Hall, Station Square and the village green. In Kingussie, the Talla Nan Ros Hall on King Street and Ardvonie Park behind the Duke of Gordon Hotel next to the medical practice is where to head for.

The Cairngorms Big BioBuzz Day is just one of many events taking place as part of Scottish Biodiversity Week and is one of the BBC Springwatch Wild Days Out events.

For further information, keep an eye on the local press, contact Stephen Corcoran on 01479 870528 or log on to Cairngorms Biodiversity or Big BioBuzz for further information.