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Big five Wild Lochaber Festival

Where: Lochaber, Highlands

When: 17-25 May 2014

Price: Many activities free or low cost

Welcome to the 3rd Wild Lochaber Festival and this year sees a much bigger event with an enormous selection of activities to suit all ages and interests. From the deer and golden eagle in the mountains, otter and seals around the coast the and dolphins, whale,

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basking shark and myriad seabirds in our seas, Wild Lochaber truly is a wildlife destination to rank alongside the best in the world. And all of this set in some of the wildest and most diverse scenery on our planet, which has earned Lochaber the status of an international Geopark.

The week long festival starts off with “Go Wild on the Canal” a fun filled day for all the family with boat trips, water walkers, mini wildlife safaris, Wildlife talks, have a go kayak and canoe sessions, birds of prey demonstration and lots more. On Sunday we have the  Glenuig seashore festival, a celebration of our coastline through art workshops, music, storytelling and a presentation of entries of the schools art and writing competition. The rangers will also take you out to look at the fascinating world of rock pools.

Throughout the week there are opportunities to try sea kayaking or canoeing in open canoes, Look for Scotland’s big five, join a trip to see the black grouse lek, cruise on Loch Shiel, Loch Linnhe or Loch Leven, photograph red deer, join a searchlight safari to look for the elusive pine marten, learn to fly fish or look for bats or our endemic butterfly the chequered skipper.

The week long celebration of Lochaber’s wildlife and wild places culminates in the festival fair which takes place over two days at the Glen Nevis visitor centre. Here you can see bird of prey displays, find out about beekeeping, try pond dipping, photograph bluebells, look for red squirrels or help the rangers solve a wildlife crime mystery. There will be puzzles and quizzes for children and adults, and stalls and displays to visit.

For those who would rather do their own thing the Wild Lochaber Trails, a series of 8 leaflets giving information on a number of self guided routes published in 2013, can be downloaded from the web site or picked up from various visitor outlets throughout the region.

So the 2014 Wild Lochaber festival really has something for everyone, visitor or local, young and old, active or sedentary. And with many events either free or very low cost, there really is no reason not to come along and join in the fun. So take a look through the programme and fill your diary for the week!

 

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