This is a year of celebration, because as well as being the 40th Anniversary of the North Ayrshire RSPB Local Group this is also Eglinton Country Park’s 30th Anniversary, so we agreed to a joint venture.
What do we celebrate? Nature’s Home, of course!
Eglinton Park is a rich example of the Ranger Service in action for nature conservation and education, which is why the RSPB is delighted to partner with them in the bioblitz event. Supervised by scientists, this will not be a day of passive entertainment, but one of ecological discovery and recording, from lichens and micro-invertebrates to trees, and, of course, birds. Results will be collated at our specially set up Bio-lab.
On The Day
The event will be officially opened by MP Patricia Gibson. Arrive before 10am to get booked up with the planned walks and bioblitz teams! Wildlife rangers from Brodick Country Park, Clyde Muirshiel Country Park, Culzean Country Park and, of course, Eglinton Country Park will be on site to share their expertise.
And here is a glimpse of what’s planned…
The Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) will be there, with the huge task of blitzing the Sourlie Wood area and wildflower meadow which was established recently. Meet Gill Smart of the SWT out in the field!
Meet Jo Kingsbury, from the RSPB, who is leading the huge Garnock Valley ‘Futurescape’ project in South-west Scotland, and ask her about future plans on the project area.
The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club is 80 years old this year. George Waterston, who founded the SOC also became the first Director of RSPB Scotland. Meet up with other SOC members on bioblitz operations, talk to Jane Cleaver about membership, and become a part of this wildlife initiative.
The Ayr Astronomical Society have a very unusual demonstration to show all visitors – a Sun Telescope! Gaze at that great luminary, the sun.
We have great respect for the work and dedication of Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust. They are fantastic representatives of direct care for sick and injured wildlife. Andy and Gay Christie will be happy to tell you about the work they do.
PC Graeme Gordon will be in attendance where you can talk to him about making a difference and assisting the police with enforcing the Wildlife Protection Laws.
At the heart of Eglinton, the British Trust for Ornithology will have their ringing station. Displays will include osprey and cuckoo migration maps and updated information about the North Ayrshire Sandwich terns will be available.
Our association with the Field Study Centre on Big Cumbrae at Millport has also brought into our event the Open-Air Laboratory. OPAL is an organisation headed up by the Imperial College London, and delivered by partners including the Field Studies Council and Glasgow Science Centre, with funding for it’s citizen science activities from the Big Lottery Fund.
Look out for Liz Parsons, from Starling Learning, who is a weel-kent face in local conservation education. Here as a volunteer, she is on the lookout for young scientists!
Kat Jones, the RSPB’s regional public affairs manager, will be running family workshops throughout the day. Activities include bug hunting at 10.30am, pond dipping at 12pm, tree ID and scavenger hunt at 1.30pm and a bird safari at 3pm. A small charge will apply for these activities.
RSPB Scotland Lochwinnoch staff will be on hand to help out and will have a selection of goods for sale, along with a Viking Optical demonstration.
Of course, our local members will be there flying the flag for our own group during this special event with a table filled with information on the group, membership details and pin badges.
Entry to the event is totally free, so come and join in with Nature’s Home @ Eglinton.
Show your interest by visiting our Facebook page and joining the event. Hope to see you there!