Groups from across Scotland came together to celebrate Scotland’s diversity in the Cairngorms National Park on Saturday 11 October at the very first Outdoor Festival for All.
Backbone orchestrated the day at Blair Castle and Atholl Estate who played host to the event, which saw over 350 people come together and take part in a range of recreational and learning activities within the Cairngorms National Park and its Woodlands.
Activities and workshops that took place throughout the day and included Walks, Biking, Bushcraft, Exploring Insects and Bugs, Climbing Wall, Safe Archery, Wild Cooking, Dance and Storytelling for people of all backgrounds and abilities.
Alice Musamba Purves from the Edinburgh African Community and Sisters with Seeds said, “It was great to see an event showing that the Cairngorms National Park is easily accessible for under represented communities. I am glad I cancelled my agency shift work to bring my family to such a well organised exciting and fun event.
“ My children said it was the best outing day they have ever had! I am going to encourage others from my African community to get out in the country side for fresh air and walks.”
Backbone ran the event in partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission. Backbone‘s main mission is to entice and excite people from all backgrounds and abilities to engage with Scotland’s diverse landscapes. They aim to specifically target communities that would not normally go to the countryside.
Cairngorms National Park Authority Board Member Eleanor Mackintosh said, “We are delighted to be working with Backbone on this event as we have a shared aim to ensure that the wonderful landscape of the Cairngorms is available for all to enjoy. It was lovely to see so many people who have never had access to the National Park before being able to enjoy the uniqueness of the countryside and try new skills.”
Romena Huq from the Forestry Commission Scotland said: “We really enjoyed this event in a wonderful woodland setting. Events like these are run as part of the Commission Scotland’s Engagement Programme and it’s great to bring together people from different backgrounds to explore and enjoy local woods on their doorstep. Some of the workshops were ran by the women leaders who were trained by Backbone as part of the Engagement Programme. It was fantastic to see so many people came along to enjoy the day.”
Groups who attended included African Community Edinburgh, Disability Groups Perthshire, Cairngorms Health Walk Project, Ross Community Mental Health Team, Nepalese Community of Aberdeen, Scottish Arabic Women’s Association, South Asian Women and families in Edinburgh, Telugu Scotland Association and Multi Ethnic Access Development Project (MEAD)