Cairngorms National Park

View to Braemar

Young People urged to snap up the chance to work with top photographers

25th October 2010

Young people in the Cairngorms National Park with an interest in wildlife photography are being given a fantastic opportunity to learn from the best.

It’s part of 2020VISION – an ambitious multimedia initiative to inspire people across the UK about natural ecosystems. It involves 20 “Young Champions” being recruited to work with 20 of the country’s top wildlife and conservation photographers on 20 assignments in areas that have special natural qualities over 20 months.

The John Muir Award is working with 2020VISION to recruit one young person for each assignment.

Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) Outdoor Learning Officer and John Muir Award Manager Alan Smith said: “We’re looking for anyone aged 16-24 who is enthusiastic about nature and sharing this with others. They don’t need to have any experience and could still be at school, in work or looking for an opportunity to do something they wouldn’t normally get the chance to.”

Two areas within the Cairngorms National Park have been selected for the assignments because of their special qualities  Caledonian pine forests at Abernethy and the mountainous terrain of Glenfeshie.

Alan Smith added: “The two areas that have been chosen are unique to the UK and contain some of our most important natural ecosystems. The Park is home to the most extensive tracts of Caledonian forest in Britain, comprising pine, juniper and broadleaved species and the mountainous terrain around Glenfeshie is part of the country’s largest sub-arctic landscape. This project will allow the young people to discover not only why they are important but also that they are striking and dramatic landscapes.”

The professional photographers will mentor the young people and coach them not only in photography but how to tell compelling stories using their images.

Photographers taking part include Chris Packham, BBC Springwatch and Autumnwatch presenter, and owner of Northshots Photography in Kingussie, Peter Cairns who’s also the 2020VISION Coordinator: “Getting young people involved in 2020VISION is vital, and a really exciting part of the whole project. 2020VISION is more than anything a communication project and the role of the Young Champions is to do exactly that – engage with their own communities, their own peer groups and communicate the vital link between people’s well being and restored natural systems.”

No previous experience is necessary, just an enthusiasm for nature and communicating this to others. For more information and to apply please contact Alan Smith on 01479 870518 or email.