Hundreds of people turned out to see the amazing benefits of trees and forests in the Cairngorms National Park at the “Celebrating Nature” event in Aviemore on Saturday 21 May 2011.
The free, fun-filled day at Aviemore Highland Resort was organised by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Ranger Services of the National Park, to bring people closer to nature through the theme of trees and forests, to coincide with 2011 being the UN International Year of Forests.
Activities included mountain bike displays and skills training; chainsaw carving; giant wood ants nest and ant building; woodland orchestra and music activities; insect identification; Green Woodworking and seed planting. CNPA Board Member, Jaci Douglas, said: “Forests are so important to the Cairngorms National Park and Scotland and it was fantastic to see people of all ages exploring this for themselves by taking part in the huge range of different activities and demonstrations. I hope people have taken away some new ideas of how they can celebrate our woodlands and forests by enjoying them recreationally through walking or cycling, spotting wildlife or considering using wood as a sustainable source of fuel or as a building material – I know I have!”
Among those enjoying the day was Dave Thompson, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch: “I am delighted to have been asked to come down and see the wonderful work that the Cairngorms National Park are doing to educate the people of the Highlands. As Jaci said, Scotland’s forests are hugely important and should be enjoyed by everyone in a safe and respectful way. I particularly enjoyed trying my hand at the wood carving and mountain biking and was impressed by the enthusiasm of all those involved in the event. It was a fantastic day and I certainly look forward to many more like it in the future.”
These events are becoming an annual success as CNPA Biodiversity Officer, Stephen Corcoran, explains: “Last year we ran the Big BioBuzz Day where for 24 hours we explored the amazing biodiversity the Cairngorms National Park has to offer. This year’s event has built on that success by developing a greater understanding of how good forest management benefits the people, and the wildlife, of Scotland in so many practical, fun and exciting ways.
“Our intention is to make these annual events where people can continue to get involved in celebrating what makes the Cairngorms National Park such a special place.”