Our First Pollinator Picnic

On Friday 21st of July 2023, with Buglife, we hosted a family-friendly Pollinator Picnic on Kirrie Hill as part of the Strathmore B-lines project.

The two-year project sees Buglife Scotland working across the Strathmore Valley to increase flower-rich habitat for pollinating insects. They are doing this through creating habitat corridors and stepping-stones which will enable insects to freely disperse and re-colonise the area and surrounding landscape.

“When we were approached to collaborate on this event, we were buzzing! We wanted to plan a picnic to celebrate our buzzing of bees and our beautiful butterflies and to let people know about the importance of taking action to support our pollinators. It also gave us the opportunity to highlight the work our Restoring Nature group is doing in the town to support people and nature to thrive together”

– Amandla Taylor, Sustainable Kirriemuir Project Manager

Sustainable Kirriemuir also unveiled a new information board on the day. The ‘Pollinators & Wildflowers’ board which volunteers have put together is the fourth in the series. Thanks to Angus Council for assistance in designing and installing the sign.

Why does this matter?

Around 75% of our crops, including many of our everyday fruit and vegetables, require pollinators to reproduce. Without pollination, we wouldn’t be able to grow enough food to eat.

Kirrie Hill was a hive of activity, with around 150 people, mostly families and friend groups, rolling out their picnic blankets and unpacking their sandwiches before they headed off to explore nature and enjoy the free event.

Murton Trust brought a host of materials along. The kids got stuck in making mud bricks, sawing bits of wood, and drilling holes in sticks to make the components of the giant Bug Hotel which will be making its home on Kirrie Hill.

Claire Pumfrey, Project Officer for Buglife, took people on insect hunts with nets in hand, discovering the delights and diversity of the bugs that are all around us, when we take the time to notice. They learned things like how to identify a hoverfly from a bee, looking with curiosity and excitement, rather than fear!

Angus Alive’s Bookbug even made a guest appearance on the day! Sarah, who leads Kirriemuir and Forfar’s weekly Bookbug sessions, shared stories and songs with the little ones, starting them on their nature-loving journey.

Sustainable Kirriemuir staff and volunteers were on hand with all things environmental. They provided a nature weaving activity, locally grown berries, and homemade blackcurrant & elderflower cordial to sample. Kirrie Dumplings, our volunteer-led Outdoor Tots group based at the Community Garden, provided lots of engaging nature-themed activities for the under 5’s.

All in all, it was a fantastic day with a wonderful turnout of people (from near and far!). We hope that Kirriemuir continues to care and do more for these tiny but super beasties!

Love Nature? Want to Meet Like-minded People?

Did you know we have a Protecting & Restoring Nature group who meet every 1-2 months? As a group they take small, but mighty, actions to educate and inform local people about our local nature, and why it’s so important to help protect species and restore their habitats. We have a number of mini-projects ongoing including habitat creation, a wildlife detectives nature trail, data collection and recording and more. If you’d like to get involved, contact us to find out more.

What Else Can I Do?

If you’d like to find out more about local wildlife you can view our Kirrie Wildlife Encyclopaedia. For beginners, we also recommend checking out the Seek App for identifying birds, plants, pollinators and more. Have fun, and please let us know if you spot anything exciting!