Organisations throughout the Cairngorms National Park are joining forces to celebrate National Parks Week 2006, which takes place from 21st – 28th July. A series of events are taking place throughout the Park with something to suit all ages and abilities.
National Parks Week is being marked at National Parks the length and breadth of Great Britain and this year’s theme is ‘Stretch your legs, stretch your mind’.
One of the Cairngorms National Park’s highlights this year is Journey for the Wild 2006. The John Muir Trust – the country’s leading wild land conservation organisation – is behind the Journey for the Wild, which consists of four routes totalling about 2,500 miles.
Participants will walk, run, cycle, paddle kayaks and canoes, and sail yachts to complete the journey, travelling light and with the least possible impact on the environment through some of Britain’s wildest places and most spectacular scenery. Their aim is to pass on a message baton across 70 legs of the journey and four different routes. The eastern route baton enters the Park on the 24 July near Dinnet.
In addition, staff from the Cairngorms National Park Authority will be taking part in their own Journey for the Wild to celebrate National Parks Week by walking the four tops – Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Cairn Toul, and Braeriach – on Thursday 27 July.
But National Parks Week is for everyone and the following events are also taking place in the Cairngorms National Park during National Parks Week 2006 – so whatever your ability, get out there and stretch your legs and mind!
- Craig Leek: Aberdeenshire Council’s ranger service invites you to a guided walk on the Invercauld Estate, near Braemar from 11am – 2.30pm (booking essential)
- Anagach Woodland Festival, Grantown-on-Spey: the Anagach Woods Trust is hosting an afternoon of games and activities including archery, pole lathe turning and demonstrations of chainsaw carving from British champion, Pete Bowsher. From 12 – 5pm.
- High Top Walk: the National Trust for Scotland is offering a strenuous walk to the ‘Blue Hill of Derry’. The cost is £10 per person or £7.50 for NTS members. Leaving from Mar Lodge Estate, Braemar at 9.30am (booking essential).
- Living in Dell Woods, Nethy Bridge: discover the stories and wildlife of Abernethy in this ancient Caledonian pine forest. Hosted by Explore Abernethy ranger service, this guided walk is from 2pm – 4pm.
- Forest of Fun Family Activity: Rothiemurchus Estate near Aviemore is also offering to help you discover the secrets of the Caledonian pine forest through environmental activities and games. From 10am – 12.30pm.
- Dragonflies and Butterflies: hear about the mysterious lifecycles and habitats of dragonflies and butterflies with the Rothiemurchus Estate ranger service. There is a charge for this activity which begins at 10am.
- Cairn Gorm by Windy Ridge: join the Cairn Gorm ranger service for a climb to the top of Scotland’s 6th highest mountain on a good trail. There is a charge for this activity which takes place from 10am – 3pm (booking essential).
- Balmoral Grounds Walk: discover the grounds and woods around Balmoral Castle and learn about the Estate’s history and wildlife with the Balmoral ranger service. Grounds ticket costs £6 and walk lasts from 2pm – 4pm.
- A Myriad of Minutiae: catch dragonflies and damselfly larvae and various amphibians in the Nature Trail pond on the Glenlivet Estate then go wildlife watching. From 2pm.
- A Walk in the Parks: take an evening stroll in Mar Lodge Estate grounds and around the Lodge itself with an opportunity to view the interior of the Stag Ballroom. There is a charge of £2 for this event, which leaves from the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge at 7pm (booking essential).
- Damsels and Dragons Guided Walk: a chance to search for these colourful flies and enjoy the lovely views with the Explore Abernethy ranger service. From 10am – 11.30am.
- Wild Woods Mystery Hunt: something is hiding in the woods and it is up to you to find it! With no maps, this event for kids at Forest Enterprise Scotland’s Glenmore Visitor Centre is set to be a challenge. From 10.30am – 12.30pm.
- Wet n’ Wild Family Activity: Have fun discovering the secret wetland habitats through environment activities such as pond dipping with the Rothiemurchus Estate ranger service. From 10am – 12.30pm
- Wildlife of the Ski Area: The Cairn Gorm ranger service invites you to discover azalea, clubmoss and ptarmigan. This is a mid-level walk on good trails. From 10.30am – 3pm (booking essential).
- Strathavon Land Rover Safari: enjoy an off-road tour of the River Avon valley and discover the wildlife of the Glenlivet Estate. There is a charge for this activity which takes place from 3pm – 6pm.
Full details of all of these events, including how to get there, maps and suggested footwear and clothing can be found in the Cairngorms Countryside Events booklet which can be picked up in 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].