June 2016

Saturday, 25 June 2016

FAB Day at Abernethy Reserve

The event was organised by Friends of Abernethy (FAB) Support Group, and 50 Friends were greeted by FAB volunteers and members of staff. After an inspiring introductory talk by site manager, Jeremy Roberts, half of the group climbed aboard the people trailer for an expedition to the forest edge at Ryvoan Pass, led by Jeremy and Ian Perks, reserve conservation manager. The group heard first hand about the RSPB’s vision for the future at Abernethy and the management of this wild landscape. Some Friends were fortunate enough to see red-throated diver.

Meanwhile, the other 25 Friends split into 3 smaller groups and ventured out to hear about and see some special species of the reserve. Andy Scobie, twinflower expert, battled with midges to delight his audience with his encyclopedic knowledge of this rare and fascinating plant. Alison Greggans, community ranger, got down to hands on experience with wood ants, which are a key species in a pinewood ecosystem, and enthralled the Friends with amazing ant facts. Phil Golder, member of staff, imparted his enthusiasm for all things to do with growing trees when the Friends visited the tree nursery.

The day was completed by an informative and extremely entertaining illustrated talk at Boat of Garten hall by Will Boyd Wallis, Head of Conservation and Land Management for Cairngorm National Park Authority.

Everyone agreed that the day had been most enjoyable and informative, and staff and FAB Group received excellent feedback. A quote from one Friend: “I was most impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm of those involved – they are totally immersed in the complex ecology. At the end of my visit, I felt pleased to have a small involvement with the project.” Ann M