The dust has settled after a hectic few weeks of preparation, delivery, and wind down from this year’s Discovery Day at Loch Leven. This year’s event was particularly special as we were celebrating the Year of Natural Scotland which enabled us to showcase Loch Leven’s natural features, whilst promoting the work of a variety of organisations around the reserve that safeguard it’s natural heritage.
As we look back at the success of the event, we must also thank Martin Pettinger for his terrific photography, in which he was keen to focus on particular activities taking place throughout the day. Many thanks to you Martin once again, for the use of your images.
Ken Neil from Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels, and the Perth and Kinross Red Squirrel Group were particularly busy at the entrance to the marquee this year- one friend’s daughter was very keen to share with her Dad the fact that squirrels don’t have thumbs! She’s also now a massive fan of moths, having visited Duncan and George’s Butterfly Conservation stall.
Fife’s Knitted Nature had to win the most spectacular display award (if such a thing existed- maybe next year!), while there was a lot of talk about CEH’s live loch cam, as well as FARG’s newt tank, which has always been a personal favourite.
The story-tellers this year were fantastic, with Calum Lykan and Angela Macari leading a fantastic group, which also included guest teller Svenja Kruger from Germany. They certainly grabbed plenty of people’s attention, and their crowd at times was very impressive.
Liz Balfour’s willow-weaving workshop brought an excellent new element to the event, with a more immediately accessible side to willow-weaving, while my volunteers and I grafted away tirelessly with our guests at their pea-growers!
RSPB nest-box building appeared to be very popular once again- always a good one to take away from the event.
There were all sorts of interesting things going on for kids to get involved with- SNH had a range of kids’ activities, including Artist in Residence Alison’s peg doll dragonflies and butterflies, badge-making, bag painting, and our mini Loch Leven activity, as well as a display donated by Kinross Primary School, depicting Loch Leven Trout, after their involvement in Trout in the Classroom.
With so much going on it was difficult to get round every activity, but I must give special mention to Jonny Chainsaw for his fantastic chainsaw carving demonstration. We’re hoping to work with Jonny again before the year is out, so watch this space for more news on that.
Also thanks must go to John Franchetti, Catriona Frankitti and David Hardie of Myreton Marquees, for their support and assistance setting up and packing down for the event on the day. Thanks also to the Boathouse Bistro for a splendid barbecue, which was very much appreciated by all visitors, staff and volunteers (myself included!).
Once again, I’d like to extend my thanks to all participants, representatives, visitors, staff and volunteers for making it such a special day. The feedback I’ve received has been very encouraging, and I feel that this year we really managed to convey the message of how special Loch Leven is to you, the public.