Highland’s First Wildlife Fair this weekend
This Saturday the first ever Highland Wildlife Fair will take place. The new UHI Beechwood Campus will be the venue for the event which is supported by The Highland Council and SNH and will bring together 30 organisations from all over Highland. They'll be there to let all those attending know what they do and how they can get involved in the many different projects underway to protect and conserve the wildlife of the Highlands.
People coming along can find out about Sea Trout in the Sutherland, Sustainable Urban Drainage Ponds in Inverness and their amphibians and even the most northerly Great Crested Newts in the British Isles. After lunch there will be one of two guided walks round the campus grounds looking at the ponds on site and the other habitats of value to wildlife that have been created there.
From 1-3pm Jason Watts of SNH will run a funding café, were there will be the opportunity to ask him about the potential funding available to your various projects or groups. There will be 8 fifteen minute slots available; you can book on during the morning tea and coffee interval.
In the afternoon delegates will hear all about the Highland Wildcat project, lots has been happening there and some interesting sites have been captured by the trail cameras. Council Ranger Katy Martin will give a talk about the bats found in the Inverness area so if anyone wants to know how many species have been spotted in the Highlands they should come along.
No doubt many people have noticed Bumblebees on the wing this month, these are the queens looking to set up their nest for the year. They are much bigger than the worker bees of the late spring and summer. Katy Malone of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust will tell us about the great work going on in Caithness and Sutherland for the Great Yellow Bumblebee. Finally Rob Dewar from the NTS will talk about the exciting Red Squirrel conservation work going on in their properties.
The talks allied with the 30 stalls will make this a great opportunity to find out what is happening for wildlife in Highland. If you are keen to help Highland’s Wildlife then come along and you will find a way to do just that. There will be plenty time for informal chatting to those attending and stall holders.
Jonathan Willet, the Highland Council's Biodiversity Officer, said: “I am hopefully that we will get a good turnout on the day as we haven’t run an event quite like this before. Previously our Biodiversity Forum events have been day long events, but we thought that we should try a drop-in event to allow people to stay as long or a briefly as they wish. There is also the opportunity to have a guided walk around the campus. ”
The day starts at 10am with talks running through the morning and afternoon; you can drop in at any time and have a look around the stalls or attend one for the talks.