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Biodiversity competition announced for Blairgowrie and Rattray

Date: Sunday 12 November

Biodiversity competition announced for Blairgowrie and Rattray

The team behind the Biodiversity Blair project, which is facilitated by Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust (BRDT), has announced a competition to encourage local residents to help improve the biodiversity of a space that they look after.

The competition aims to see if the range of species in Blairgowrie and Rattray can be increased by making small changes to spaces in the town.

Lesley McDonald from BRDT looks after the Trust’s core projects, which includes Biodiversity Blair.

Explaining the thinking behind the competition, she said: “The aim of the Biodiversity Blair project is to increase the growing of healthy food locally, increase pollinators and to look after the local natural landscape for all species – including humans.  

“Part of that means ensuring there is a variety of planting of the kind that, as well as increasing pollinators, people like to look at and that will help the town become more self-sustaining and reduce food miles and food costs, and we work closely with the BaRI Food Project to help us achieve that.  

“Blairgowrie and Rattray is already Scotland’s first biodiversity town but there is always more that can be done.

“This competition is for members of the local community to see if they can help improve the biodiversity of a space that they look after – whether that is a garden, a balcony, a front doorstep or whatever – and increase the range of species in Blairgowrie and Rattray.

“We’re asking people to take a photo of a space that could be improved in a biodiverse way it and send to us at info@biodiversityblair.scot or pop in to the BaRI Food and Refill Store with it by December 11th.

“We will then offer ideas and suggestions on ways to improve the space, and then later on we will ask you to take another picture to show the improvement - and hopefully win a prize!”

The areas that the Biodiversity Blair project currently looks after are parts of Davie Park, the riverside, the Gamesie and Lochy Park, and it has been a busy summer for those involved.

Lesley continued: “We have an absolutely phenomenal group of volunteers who help us work towards increasing the biodiversity of different areas in the town, enhancing the local environment and being more nature friendly in a way that fits in with local preferences.

“Working in partnership with Buglife, and as part of our Strathmore B-lines project, we spent two days planting native wildflowers in the grassland at the Gamesie playing fields to provide valuable food for pollinating insects.

“Our volunteers took great care in scything and raking the ground in preparation for planting. The wildflower path is going to look fantastic and huge thanks are due to everyone involved for all their hard work bringing this to fruition.

“We were also delighted to be involved in a new initiative with the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership that aims to raise awareness of swifts in the town and the important role they play in an area’s biodiversity.

“And we are running a ‘mini bioblitz’ where we ask local residents to record sightings of ten different species of plants, animals and insects in the local area as part of efforts to improve our understanding of which plants and wildlife grow in the Blairgowrie and Rattray area and which will help us with a larger bioblitz project in development for next year.

“We’re always keen to hear from anyone in the town who would be interested in volunteering for a few hours a month, enabling us to do more - including looking after more areas in Blairgowrie and Rattray and ensuring that they are managed for the local community in a way that both supports biodiversity and is acceptable to residents.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about Blairgowrie and Rattray’s Biodiversity Town strategy, and what you can do, visit https://www.discoverblairgowrie.co.uk/cap-actions/biodiversity.

To enter the competition or to be added to a mailing list for upcoming volunteering opportunities, email info@biodiversityblair.scot Alternatively, follow ‘BiodiversityBlair’ on Facebook and Instagram for up-to-date information on events and work parties.

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