Cairngorms National Park

View to Braemar

Journey for the Wild enters the Park

24th July 2006

Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) board member Richard Stroud and piper Dave Torrance from Braemar welcome Peter Wright and the eastern ‘Journey for the Wild’ baton into the Cairngorms National Park at Dinnet in Aberdeenshire.

‘Journey for the Wild 2006’ (www.jmt.org/journey) is organised by the John Muir Trust – the country’s leading wild land conservation organisation – and involves a 2,500 mile journey across the UK from north, south, east and west, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of wild land in the UK.

Participants are walking, running, cycling, paddling kayaks and canoes, and sailing 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 four hand carved message batons across 70 legs of the journey and along four different routes.

Clutching the eastern baton, Peter Wright entered the Cairngorms National Park this afternoon (Monday 24 July) – during National Parks Week – having begun the journey on 20 July near Aberdeen, travelling up the River Dee and into the Park. Peter will hand over the baton to the Green Team who are on a residential conservation holiday at Mar Lodge, Braemar, where the baton will be taken through the Grampian mountains to the Moray Firth and down the Great Glen before eventually ending up on Ben Nevis on 26 August, where the four batons will come together for the first time.

From Ben Nevis the four batons go to Perthshire and along the River Tay to Fife and then through the Lothians to Edinburgh, completing the journey at the Scottish Parliament on 30 September.

Alan Smith, Cairngorms manager for the John Muir Award – the educational initiative of the John Muir Trust – explained the significance of the ‘Journey for the Wild’: “Wild land is so important for many reasons, not least the opportunities it gives us to get away from it all and to refresh and revitalise our tired minds through immersing ourselves in the natural world.”

On entering the park, Peter Wright said: “The people who will be taking part in the journey will experience some truly magnificent wild places. Wild places are vital for our wellbeing and being part of this celebration gives me special pride and pleasure.”

Welcoming Peter, CNPA board member Richard Stroud said: “I am delighted to be able to welcome Peter and the eastern baton into the Cairngorms National Park today. The Park contains some of the most spectacular wild land in the country and it’s a very precious resource.”

People can take part in their own ‘Journey for the Wild’, for example, staff at the CNPA will be taking part in their own journey later this week. The intrepid group are walking the four high tops of the Park – Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Cairn Toul, and Braeriach – on Thursday 27 July.

For more information on the ‘Journey for the Wild’ go to the website: www.jmt.org/journey or why not go to the ‘Journey for the Wild’ open day being held at Glenmore Forest Visitor Centre, near Aviemore on Saturday 5 August from 10am – 4pm.