#CycleForNature – an inspiring week!

Another three offices and three National Nature Reserves visited this week and 147 miles cycled. Now with four legs completed, #CycleForNature will soon look forward to pushing off again from Aviemore on 16 July. Today, following on from Wednesday’s post, Francesca reflects on the end of another inspiring, activity-packed week.

On Thursday, SNH colleague, David Shepherd, and I set off from Kinross to Falkland with Storm Hector at our backs. We had a brilliant ride on quiet roads and the strong tailwind meant that we arrived at the Falkland Stewardship Trust 30 minutes early!


David on the Falkland hill climb challenge

David suggested a hill climb challenge which was great and brought us back in perfect time to meet the Trust. The Falkland Stewardship Trust is part of the Centre for Stewardship which brings together a range of organisations supporting sustainable living and skills development in Falkland and beyond. It was great to meet staff and volunteers who are learning techniques as diverse as wood carving, rope skills and vegetable growing.


Staff and volunteers at the Falkland Stewardship Trust

Then on to the SNH office in Cupar, now accompanied by colleague Helen McGeorge, dodging the debris of Storm Hector.  The afternoon was spent in the office with colleagues discussing our shared aspirations for SNH and learning about the work of SNH in the area.

It was a relatively short hop this morning to Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve. Here I met colleagues and volunteers and discussed some of the challenges and opportunities of reserve management and visitor engagement.  It was a pleasure to meet Gillian Fyfe,  a Tentsmuir volunteer whose butterfly report was published today by SNH.  Gillian has been analysing 40 years of data on butterfly numbers at the reserve and has produced an excellent report which you can find on our website – nature.scot. It’s inspiring to meet people with such a passion for Scotland’s nature.


Volunteer Gillian Fyfe’s butterfly report was published today

I had a good tour of the fantastic reserve before setting off for the final stop of this leg of #CycleForNature: Dundee waterfront.

At the waterfront I met Graeme McLean, the Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland  project manager.  This is a cross-sector collaboration, supported by SNH, to maximise the potential of mountain biking in Scotland. Projects include development of new and sustainable trails and working with the National Access Forum to manage conflict. All of which supports SNH’s mission to connect people and nature and encourage everyone to enjoy Scotland’s amazing natural assets in a positive and sustainable way.


Leg 4 finished with a meeting with the Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland project.

Cycle For Nature is raising funds for the Scottish Association for Mental health.

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