Spring Programme of ‘Natural Environment’ Online Events Launched

Spring Programme of ‘Natural Environment’ Online Events launched

A programme of seven free online events is published which allows us to better understand Galloway’s amazing Natural Environment, while considering how we can conserve and support local species and habitats.

This week sees the launch of the Spring 2021 programme of seven events, drawing together a range of partners working with the Galloway Glens Scheme. Once a fortnight, on a Wednesday evening, these events will lift the lid on a range of topics connected to the amazing Galloway Natural Environment. The events will include presentations from experts and the opportunity to put your questions to the panel.

The events are as follows:

  • 20th Jan, 7.30pm: Goose News! The Galloway Glens Greenland White Fronted Goose project. Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) are a distinct and relatively rare type of white-fronted geese which breed in Greenland and then over-winter in Britain and Ireland. In Galloway we are lucky to have two over-wintering populations: one based around West Freugh and one based around Loch Ken. Join us to discover more about the amazing migrations the birds make, the threats they are exposed to and the things we can all do to help the population thrive. Book your ticket: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/goose-news-the-galloway-glens-greenland-white-fronted-goose-project-tickets-136006187167
  • 03 Feb, 7.30pm: Cows and Conservation: The role of livestock in landscape restoration

Our landscape is ever-changing but demands upon our landscape, often understandably driven by agricultural policy, can have consequences on biodiversity. Join us to discuss new techniques that can help us improve the biodiversity of our landscape and create land that is better suited to the changes that climatic uncertainty will cause. Book your ticket: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cows-and-conservation-the-role-of-livestock-in-landscape-restoration-tickets-136406957883

  • 17 Feb, 7.30pm: Red Squirrels: help from a predator?

Red squirrels are a totemic species that is much loved by the British public. However, they are under extreme threat, principally due to competition and disease from the invasive grey squirrel. Pine martens are a predator that likes to eat squirrels (amongst other things). Evidence suggests that the grey squirrel is poorly adapted to evade this native predator, so is this arboreal member of the weasel family part of the answer to slow down or even reverse the march of the grey squirrel?! Book your ticket: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/red-squirrels-help-from-a-predator-tickets-136416707043

  • 03 Mar, 7.30pm: Fish: To migrate or not to migrate?

Both salmon and trout may spend some of their adult life in the sea, or sometimes all of their life in freshwater. If they chose to migrate, how do they do so and why? Join the Galloway Glens and an expert panel to discuss these fishy conundrums. This meeting is the launch of an exciting Galloway Fisheries Trust project to track Atlantic salmon smolts from Polmaddy to Kirkcudbright Bay, which will reveal the challenges and conundrums the smolts will face on this journey. Book your ticket: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fish-loch-ken-to-migrate-or-not-to-migrate-tickets-136418245645

  • 17 Mar, 7.30pm: Wet Woodland and Willow Tits

Poecile montanus, the Willow Tit, is one of Britain’s fastest declining bird species but our Ken Dee marshes are one of the last strongholds in Scotland. This beautiful bird has become a victim of tidy woods and the (now) fragmented nature of their preferred habitat. Join experts from the RSPB to learn what is being done to help the Willow Tit and how you can help in their conservation work. Book your ticket: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wet-woodland-and-willow-tits-tickets-136419451251

  • 31 Mar, 7.30pm: How Clean is your (Wind)Screen?

Not so long ago, during a summer drive in the country our car windscreens were continually splattered by unfortunate insects. These days this is no longer a problem but one of the reasons for this has dark undertones. Many of those splatted insects were our pollinators, pest predators and important food for other wildlife, and their population is declining sharply. What can be done to halt what is one of the most worrying signs of our biodiversity crisis? An event in partnership with Buglife, the Invertebrate Charity. Book your ticket: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-clean-is-your-screen-tickets-136422602677

  • 14 Apr, 7.30pm: Birds and our changing landscape

The acclaimed artist Donald Watson lived for most of his professional life in St Johns Town of Dalry. From his studio there he travelled around the area recording and taking notes on the landscapes he observed. His illustrations and artwork gives a tantalising glimpse into the changing landscapes of the Glenkens and beyond through the 20th century. Book your ticket: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/birds-and-our-changing-landscape-tickets-136424317807

The events are hosted and co-ordinated by Galloway Glens Project Officer, Nick Chisholm. Reviewing the programme, Nick said:

“We are blessed to live in this part of the world, however many of our special local species and habitats are under threat. These online events will explore challenges being faced by our biodiversity and the work being done by our partners to improve the situation. We are really lucky to have a host of well-known local, national and international experts who will present insights into their specialist areas and answer questions about these fascinating subjects.”

McNabb Laurie, Galloway Glens Team leader, added:

“I don’t think it is an overstatement to say Sir David Attenborough and the BBC’s Wildlife Unit would review the ambition and breadth of the Galloway Glens Spring Online Event Programme with awe.
Only a year ago, online events were very rare and I am so grateful for the efforts of the Galloway Glens team and partners for the enthusiasm on this front. In 2020, more than 4,000 people attended a Galloway Glens online event – with topics varying from the study of Rock Art to the importance of Peatlands for Biodiversity. This formed part of the Galloway Glens Covid-19 response, and has been very well received.  We have learned a lot from the events to date and are now able to plan with confidence to deliver events that are interactive and genuinely informative.
The topics being addressed in the Spring Programme of events are not simply an appreciation of the natural world, but a challenge to consider how our actions contribute to the survival of species and habitats right here on our doorstep.”

Thanks to funding provided by the National lottery Heritage Fund and Scheme partners, all events are free to attend. Booking can be made through the above Eventbrite direct links, or by searching for ‘Galloway Glens’ on www.Eventbrite.co.uk. All events will be hosted on ‘zoom’ platform. On the morning of each event, sign in details will be sent to everyone who has booked through Eventbrite.