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Get out and about for wildlife challenge

Published Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Photo credits copyright Davie Abraham - Goosander (female)

There is still time to get involved in the Clyde and Avon Valley Wildlife Challenge and 500 Words Competition 2017.

Running for the full calendar year, the campaign includes wildlife spotting events and two competitions which can be entered by children.

It focuses on one species per month that can be found throughout the year in local woodlands such as Chatelherault Country Park, RSPB Scotland Baron’s Haugh, Dalzell Estate and Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde.

The species are goosander, otter, great spotted woodpecker, kingfisher, badger, blue tailed damselfly, bats, candlesnuff fungus, comma butterfly, nuthatch, roe deer and salmon.

This challenge is a great way to find out more about local wildlife, visit local nature reserves, take part in wildlife spotting events and help contribute to the iRecord wildlife database. There are also two competitions that may be entered as part of the campaign.

The first is the Clyde and Avon Valley Wildlife Challenge #CAVWChallenge. Complete the 12 species checklist to be awarded with a certificate and be entered into a special prize draw. Join in with wildlife spotting events, download your own spotting guides and link to iRecord at www.clydeandavonvalley.org to enter your findings and tick off the 12 species that you are challenged to find on the checklist. You can also join in the conversation on social media using #CAVWChallenge. 

The second is the Clyde and Avon Valley 500 Words Competition (open to children ages 5 - 9 and 10 - 12). Children are invited to pick one of the 12 species and write a fictional story or poem about it in less than 500 words. Each entrant will be awarded with a certificate and be entered into a special prize draw. Entries will be judged on originality, plot, characterisation, language and enjoyment by a panel of expert judges: Cherry Bowen (author of the New Lanark trilogy), the Lanark Writers Group and South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers. You can download the 500 Words Competition full guidelines and submission form from www.clydeandavonvalley.org.

Donna Marshall, CAVLP Programme Manager, said: “The Clyde and Avon Valley is home to a fascinating array of wildlife. The area is home to the Clyde Valley National Nature Reserve (NNR) which is one of the ecologically richest areas of Scotland, as well as other spectacular woodlands.

"The woodlands are often hidden in dramatic river gorges, creating ribbons of wild land that lace the local landscape where nature thrives. We’re urging people to get to know this amazing landscape and the wildlife that can be found within it through this campaign.”

The first #CAVWChallenge spotting events are as follows:

  • Feed the Birds in Strathclyde Country Park: Saturday 21 January, 1:30 – 2:30pm
  • Get Ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell, Sunday 22 January, 10am – 12 noon
  • World Wetlands Day Guided Walk at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell, Sunday 5 February, 10am – 12 noon

Full details of the events are at www.clydeandavonvalley.org/join-in.

The Clyde and Avon Valley Wildlife Challenge and 500 Words Competition must be entered by Sunday 31 December 2017.

The campaign is a partnership project between Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership, North Lanarkshire Council,  RSPB Baron's Haugh, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde and South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers. Find out the full details for the campaign at www.clydeandavonvalley.org