Get out and about in nature

The wildlife and landscapes of the Outer Hebrides are precious and Scottish Biodiversity Week 2012, which runs from May 19th to 27th, offers an ideal opportunity to get out and about and experience them.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has teamed up with a range of organisations to bring you a wide variety of events and activities during Scottish Biodiversity Week.

This year’s theme is “Biodiversity is Life - Biodiversity is Our Life”. Biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, is crucial to sustaining our lives. It produces air for us to breathe, food to eat, water to drink and even medicines to cure our ills.

The natural character and biodiversity of the Outer Hebrides is a valuable asset, providing the basis for many social and economic activities of direct benefit to the local community.

There are a large number of jobs in the island’s tourism industry dependent on the quality of the natural heritage for activities such as walking or bird watching and inspiration for art. We need it for our overall health, wealth and wellbeing.

The programme of events for children, grown ups, schools and families aims to promote awareness and appreciation of our unique biodiversity.

Events include School Workshops at An Lanntair Art Centre focusing on the wildlife and habitats of the crofting township of Mangurstadh and their relationship with past and present crofting practice. Museum nan Eilean in Benbecula is hosting an exhibition entitled “Surprise Residents and Visitors to the Outer Hebrides” while Comann nam Mara is holding a three day mini-festival of the sea.

Maybe you want to join The Big Seaweed Hunt organised by Curracag and the Outer Hebrides Biological Recording Project to look for key kinds of seaweed found around our coast. The programme also includes a range of guided walks exploring habitats from machair to hill and moorland and the wildlife they support. Boat trips give you the chance to explore some of our uninhabited offshore islands such as the Monach Isles and the Island of Scarp.

For further information on biodiversity log on to: website