Adam Rose and Ian Mitchell, work in our Golspie office and have a strong association with our Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve. Tomorrow they host a Family Open Day and both were naturally keen to talk a little more about the fabulous day out visitors can expect.
Our natural environment and landscapes are important to us for many reasons. They are a shared resource for everyone, irrespective of ownership, ability or background. They provide a living history of Scotland’s past, and inspiration for Scotland’s culture. They also provide a wide range of social and health benefits.
Attractive, accessible landscapes, including green spaces in urban areas, invite and encourage us to be more physically active. They can delight and inspire us, significantly improving our general health and wellbeing. Nature and landscapes have important ‘restorative qualities’ and are proven to promote recovery from physical and mental stresses.
Scotland’s ‘wild places’, such as mountains, forests and coasts, provide an opportunity to get away from the stresses of modern lives, and can provide challenge, adventure and exploration.
There are many ways we can interact with the natural environment and some of the best places to start are our National Nature Reserves. In these amazing places you can have a casual stroll on a beach, wander through a forest or take a rigorous hike up a hill or mountain. Or you can simply sit, relax and observe the nature and wildlife that surrounds you, or just lie back and watch the clouds roll by.
SATURDAY, 7th OCTOBER, 10am to 4pm
As a way of demonstrating how the environment can deliver these multiple benefits to local communities, on Saturday, 7th October, SCOTTISH NATURAL HERITAGE and the SUTHERLAND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP are offering a range of exciting ways for you interact with nature at Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve. The activities will be held on the Reserve at Littleferry, just 3 miles south of Golspie in Sutherland, from 10am till 4pm.
The Family Open Day at Loch Fleet will be opened at 10am by Jamie Stone MP, Cllr. Deirdre Mackay, Deputy Chair of the Sutherland Community Partnership and Scottish Natural Heritage’s Operations Manager, Graham Neville.
The Family Open Day is an ideal opportunity to come along, have fun and see what our natural environment really can do for you. Activities are split into 4 themes: Naturally Active, Naturally Tasty, Naturally Useful and Naturally Relaxing.
Why not start the day with an outdoor Tai Chi taster session at 10am on the links beside the sea? Professional instructor Gavin Macfie of ‘Wild Tai Chi’ will be on hand to guide you through this ancient Chinese and health-promoting exercise that can help people reduce stress and improve posture, balance and general mobility.
Highlife Highland will be providing cycling activities (bring your own bike), fitness sessions and local Countryside Ranger, Marcia Rae, can take you on a guided walk on the National Nature Reserve. You can also learn about bike tune up and safety checks with Jake Williams.
The Scotland’s Natural Larder campaign will have a number of wild food cookery demonstrations with professional cook, author and food demonstrator, Catriona Frankitti. At noon, there will be a venison barbecue with musical accompaniment from the local group Baile An Or.
Noted wild food expert, Mark Williams, will also lead two autumn wild food foraging walks on the Nature Reserve – for which booking will be essential (http://www.eventbrite.co.uk).
Come along and make nest boxes and bird feeders with the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage. Enjoy exploring our past with Historic Environment Scotland and their touch and try replicas!
Come and chat about Wildlife Crime and Crime Prevention with Officers from Police Scotland and find out about the work of Voluntary Groups East Sutherland, East Sutherland Energy Advice, and other Sutherland Community Partnership members.
If all that sounds just a little too much like hard work, fear not! Just come along and enjoy the beautiful nature and coastal landscapes around Loch Fleet. Take a stroll along one of the many paths and trails on the Nature Reserve or just sit and listen to Baile An Or as they play to us at lunch time.
Graham Neville, SNH’s Operations Manager, said:
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming many people to try out lots of activities at our Loch Fleet Family Open Day. The outstanding natural environment showcased by Loch Fleet, and the suite of National Nature Reserves across Scotland, offers us a chance to experience nature at first hand and help deliver a wide range of benefits for local communities, from greater health and wellbeing, to providing us with better places to live and work.
I am particularly grateful to all those individuals and organisations who are contributing to this event and I would also especially like to thank the Sutherland Community Partnership for helping us promote the importance of the natural environment to the health and wellbeing of our communities and for helping us deliver this Family Open Day.”
Cllr. Deirdre Mackay, Deputy Chair of the Sutherland Community Partnership added:
“The Sutherland Community Partnership is one of nine partnerships in Highland that brings together public agencies, third sector organisations and other key community groups to work collaboratively with local people to deliver better outcomes and address inequalities. Our partnership in Sutherland is already demonstrating how we are working together and more collaboratively with communities. And this event is an excellent example of this in action with many different groups coming together to raise awareness of our work and to show how important a clean and natural environment is to all our lives.”
Jamie Stone MP, who will formally open the event on Saturday said:
“As SNH know from my phone calls to their office – I take a great interest in nature!
On offer at Loch Fleet is a showcase for the seriously good work being done by SNH. Not only does it promote public interest in our flora and fauna – but it also shows how important it is to preserve our unique local environment if our plants and wildlife are to continue to flourish.
All of this is good – but the icing on the cake for an older bloke like me is that taking a walk in the country is thoroughly good for you. I am greatly looking forward to the day.”
For further information about the Family Open Day at Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve, please contact Adam Rose or Ian Mitchell at SNH in Golspie (0300 067 3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org).