Cairngorms project wins UK National Parks Volunteer award

Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms winners with Paul Rose
Hannah Downey

The Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms (RIC) project has won a UK National Parks Volunteer Award. TV presenter and explorer Paul Rose presented project officer Gabrielle Flinn with the award at the Kendal Mountain Festival in November.  The awards were sponsored by Columbia Sportswear.

Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms is a partnership project (RSPB Scotland, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Buglife, Butterfly Conservation and Scottish Natural Heritage) which works to conserve six rare and poorly understood insect species in the Cairngorms National Park with a team of dedicated and passionate volunteers.

The project carries out surveys to locate the six species and then works with landowners to promote land management techniques that enable the species to thrive and spread.

The six species are: Kentish glory (Endromis versicolor), Dark-bordered beauty (Epione vespertaria), Northern silver-stiletto fly (Spiriverpa lunulata), Pine hoverfly (Blera fallax), Small scabious mining bee (Andrenamarginata) and Shining guest ant (Formicoxenus nitidulus).

The project was jointly nominated by Cairngorms LEADER, who are the primary funders the project, and the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) who are one of the project partners.

Bridget Trussell, Cairngorms LEADER Manager said: “We have been impressed by the way community volunteers are an integral part of this cutting edge project that supports nature in the Cairngorms National Park in such an innovative way.”

Gabrielle Flinn, RIC Project Officer said: “We are delighted and grateful to have our efforts recognised by this award and our nominators. We really appreciate the support and hope to continue to inspire people across the National Park to stand up for nature at a time when it has never been more crucial.”

Cairngorms Local Action Group awarded RSPB £54,900 from LEADER 2014-2020 to deliver this 3 year project.