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Family activity day at Dunnet's Seadrift Visitor Centre

19th September 2012

Photograph of Family activity day at Dunnet's Seadrift Visitor Centre

Science O3, the organising charity behind the annual Caithness International Science Festival, will be collaborating with The Highland Council Countryside Rangers to present a fun-filled family activity day at Dunnet's Seadrift Visitor Centre on Saturday, 29th September 2012.

The day of workshops, talks and walks, led by the Highland Council's Countryside Rangers, will highlight the biodiversity of Caithness and allow people of all ages to learn more about the wonderful world of birds, bush craft, whales, bats and basket making.

The workshop "Basketry for Numpties", will teach basket making skills and give participants the chance to make a willow basket to take home. The "Dunnet Nature Detectives" workshop will invite people to search for clues and tracks of the many animals which live in Dunnet Forrest, whilst in the "Bird Calls" workshop, the Rangers will teach people how to identify different birds by their sounds.

There will also be a "Bush craft" workshop which will teach bush survival skills, including building a shelter and lighting a fire, as well as an illustrated talk on eco houses, which looks at the success story of building a straw house in Caithness.

A presentation will be held on whale and dolphin species found in local coastal waters and the best sites on the north coast to spot these fascinating creatures. There will also be a follow-up quiz, with a cetacean book as a prize.

"Batty About Bats" will help the public to learn more about these "midge munchers" and how they navigate at night. The workshop will include a slide show and follow-up activities, including making your own bat. In the evening, weather permitting, the rangers will conduct a guided walk around Castlehill and locate bats using an echo meter bat detector.

Caithness East Ranger, Marina Swanson, said: "The countryside rangers are excited about this new joint venture with Science O3. Together with our North team colleagues from Sutherland, the Caithness Rangers will be able to offer a great choice of workshops. There will be something of interest for everyone and we look forward to a fun packed and interesting day on the 29th."

Speaking about the activity day, Chairman of Science O3, Professor Iain Baikie said: "Saturday 29th September is a date for all families to mark in their diaries. It provides a rare opportunity for everyone to experience first-hand the fascinating and beautiful world which exists within Dunnet Forrest, and to meet its unusual inhabitants. Fun will be the central theme, not only for the workshops on offer, but for the whole day's experience, and we may even be able to "magic up" some unseasonal Caithness weather to add to everyone's enjoyment."

The cost of the workshops is 5 per family for 1 workshop. If family groups want to attend 2 or more workshops, there is a 10 maximum fee per group, which will allow families to participate in as many activities on the day as they wish. Ranger event season ticket holders will be admitted for free. Pre-booking before the event is advisable as spaces are limited. For more details and bookings, please visit the Science O3 website at or The Highland Council Countryside Rangers website at


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