The Cairngorms National Park will be the focus of week-long celebrations starting next Monday to mark National Parks Week.
The annual event is now in its fourth year and is a celebration of the UK’s 14 national parks. This year’s theme is National Parks – Natural Playgrounds. It takes place from Monday July 30th to Sunday August 5th and organisations throughout the Cairngorms National Park are joining forces to celebrate it.
At 1,467 square miles the Cairngorms National Park is the largest in the UK and really does offer something for everyone. So whatever your ability or age get out during the week and discover why the Park is one of the most exciting and interesting natural playgrounds in the country.
Amongst the events taking place are:
- Journey into the Cairngorms – July 30th – Cairngorm Rangers Base – Find out more about the Cairngorms and how to interact with them on this learning journey and walk.
- Dragonflies and butterflies – July 31st – Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre – Become part of these beautiful creatures world whilst on this walk. Hear about their mysterious lifecycles, habitats and discover how to find them.
- Wild Woods Mystery Hunt – August 1st – Glenmore Visitor Centre – There’s something hiding in the woods, but the map’s been torn up and the route’s full of surprise… can your children find out what it is?
- The Life and Times of an Ancient Forest – August 1st – Nethy Bridge – Discover the habitats and former inhabitants of the Caledonian pine forest. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
- A Walk in the Parks – August 1st – Mar Lodge – An evening stroll, with an opportunity to view the Stag Ballroom, adorned with the Duke of Fife’s antler collection. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- A Myriad of Minutiae – August 1st – Glenlivet – Catch bugs and beasties in the nature trail pond then take a short walk looking for wildlife signs and tracks.
- Beach Sculptures – August 2nd – Loch Morlich – Come down to Loch Morlich beach any time today to have a go at creating your own sculpture.
- On the Trail of the Wildcat – August 2nd – Newtonmore Wildcat Centre – Explore sections of the wildcat trail, looking at ancient woodland and fabulous water.
- Walk with a Naturalist – August 2nd – Insh Marshes – Join a local naturalist to explore the reserve and see the birds, flowers and insects of this special site.
Wet N’ Wild – August 2nd – Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre – Come and have fun discovering the secrets of wetland habitats through environmental activities such as pond dipping.
- Bat Walk – August 2nd – Loch an Eilein – Come on a fun evening stroll with a ranger armed with a bat detector and discover the mysterious lives of these magical night-time mammals.
- Ballater Victoria Week – August 3rd-12th – Join in ranger-led guided walks during this festival.
- Dragonfly training day – August 4th – Ballater – Learn more about these beautiful species and see them in their natural habitat.
- Carn Liath: High Top Walk – August 5th – Mar Lodge – A nine mile walk from Inverey to the 818 metre summit of Carn Liath, with unrivalled views of the Cairngorms. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Living in Dell Woods – August 5th – Nethy Bridge – Discover the history and wildlife of Abernethy’s ancient Caledonian pine forest. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Family Fun Day – August 5th – Insh Marshes – Wildlife games and activities for all the family, including quizzes, arts and crafts, challenges and more!
- Forest of Fun – August 5th – Loch an Eilein – Come and have fun exploring and discovering the secrets of the Caledonian pine forest, through environmental activities and games.
David Green, Convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), said: “National Parks are very important assets. They not only offer some of the most beautiful and dramatic landscapes in the country, but are also home to important habitat and wildlife.
“It is encouraging that so many organisations around the Park recognise and value its environment and that they are celebrating the best of this during National Parks Week.
“I would encourage everyone to join in and to discover why the Cairngorms National Park is a natural playground that can be enjoyed by all.”
Those unable to visit the Park during the week can still learn about its wildlife thanks to a new interactive education webpage. The Association of National Park Authorities (ANPA), which is co-ordinating National Parks Week, has featured the Park in its Hidden Worlds section. Children can explore the Native Pine Forest around Loch Garten to discover what beasts and plants lurk in there.
Full details of all of the events, including how to get there, maps and suggested footwear and clothing can be found in the Cairngorms National Park Countryside Events booklet which can found at most tourist information centres, accommodation providers and visitor attractions. Alternatively contact the Cairngorms National Park Authority for a copy of the guide, tel: 01479 873535 / email: [email protected]
Details are also available on the ANPA website: www.nationalparks.gov.uk/nationalparksweek To visit the Hidden Worlds section go to www.nationalparks.gov.uk/nationalparksweek/hidden-worlds