Apr 152013

With thanks to Richard Bunting.

Conservation charity Trees for Life is running a new ‘Iconic Birds of the Highlands’ Conservation Week from 25 May to 1 June 2013.
The programme of events offers people the chance to see and learn about the area’s magnificent and rare bird species, and to take part in hands-on habitat restoration work.

Highlights include a day trip to the Isle of Skye to see white-tailed eagles, the UK’s largest bird of prey, and to discover more about the programme that has successfully reintroduced these stunning birds to Scotland’s west and east coasts.

World-famous ornithologist and raptor expert Roy Dennis of BBC Springwatch fame will lead a guided walk at the biodiversity hotspot of Dundreggan near Loch Ness, and will discuss his pioneering osprey and sea eagle projects.

A trip to the world-famous viewing site at Loch Garten will offer the opportunity of fabulous close-up views of nesting ospreys, while a day’s birding with a local expert will include the chance to spot species such as Scottish crossbills and crested tits. There will be an early morning trip to the RSPB’s Corrimony Nature Reserve near Glen Affric to see a spectacular black grouse lek, and a warden from RSPB Corrimony will offer insights into capercaillie and black grouse management.

Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s Executive Director, said:

“The week offers people the chance to see and learn more about the world-class birdlife that inhabits the Highlands, while taking direct conservation action to help restore the habitats of these remarkable species. It will be an inspiring and positive way to spend a week during the Year of Natural Scotland.”

In September 2013, Trees for Life will also run two Conservation Weeks at Corrimony, where the charity is working with the RSPB to restore CaledonianForest and wetland to an area of former conifer plantation. This activity is benefitting a wide range of native birds and other wildlife, and provides an opportunity to observe rare birds in their natural setting.

Trees for Life is Scotland’s leading conservation volunteering charity. Its award-winning Conservation Weeks allow people from varied backgrounds, abilities and experience to help restore the Caledonian Forest to a spectacular wilderness region of 1,000 square miles in the Highlands to the west of Loch Ness and Inverness.

Volunteers must be aged over 18 years old and have reasonable fitness. Weeks in the charity’s tree nursery offer a gentler option.

The ‘Iconic Birds of the Highlands’ week costs £250 or £180 for concessions, all inclusive. For more details, visit www.treesforlife.org.uk, or contact Becky on 01309 691444 or becky@treesforlife.org.uk.

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