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Get involved with Biodiversity Blair and help make a difference

Date: Monday 29 January

Get involved with Biodiversity Blair and help make a difference

Volunteers are being sought to help amphibians in the local area safely reach their breeding grounds during February and March.

The team behind the Biodiversity Blair project is appealing for more people to get involved in a ‘toad patrol’ initiative this month and next as part of ongoing efforts to increase the biodiversity of different areas in Blairgowrie and Rattray.

Biodiversity Blair, which is facilitated by Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust (BRDT), has also recently appointed a project officer to support its work towards enhancing the local environment and being more nature friendly in a way that fits in with local preferences.

Environmental science student and experienced volunteer Jenna Muir explained: “We have a fantastic team of volunteers already working on various aspects of improving biodiversity in Blairgowrie and Rattray, and are keen to hear from anyone in the local area who may have a few hours to spare over the next few weeks to help us ensure that as many amphibians as possible reach their breeding grounds this season.

“Blairgowrie and Rattray is experiencing a significant amount of construction work and it is putting a lot of strain on native species such as hedgehogs and amphibians. In particular, the increase in the number of roads between natural migration routes and the replacement of hedgerows with fences which blocks those traditional routes means that many animals will just leave the area, which will then have a knock-on effect on the wider biodiversity we have here.

“As well as toad patrol, we are also holding a series of monthly nature watch surveys over the coming months and would like as many people as possible to get involved.

“These take place on the first Saturday of each month, meeting at 1.30pm in different locations in and around the town, and will provide valuable information about the diversity of species we have here.

“That information will help us prepare for our town bioblitz event which takes place on Saturday, June 22.”

The areas that the Biodiversity Blair project currently looks after are parts of Davie Park, the riverside, the Gamesie and Lochy Park, and those involved say that they are always keen to hear from anyone in the town who would be interested in volunteering for a few hours a month.

Jenna said: “The more volunteers we have, the more we are able to do, including looking after more areas in Blairgowrie and Rattray and ensuring that they are managed for the local community in a way that both supports biodiversity and is acceptable to residents.

“Biodiversity is such a broad topic and there is so much for people to get involved with and so many ways to have a really positive impact.

“Some of the work we have done in recent months has included planting for pollinators habitat management and enhancement at the Gamesie, supporting Buglife’s Strathmore B-lines project and planting more wildflower plug plants and sowed yellow rattle in the orchard area at Davie Park, again working alongside Buglife and also with the support of the Perth and Kinross Council Greenspace Rangers.

“We have also been working with the Eco Group at St Stephen's RC Primary School creating animal homes - specifically log piles, reptile mats and a hibernaculum - at the Gamesie, and are looking forward to seeing which species have moved in around the time of our bioblitz in June.

“We’re really keen to hear from young people, and anyone with an interest in making a real difference will be made most welcome.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about biodiversity in Blairgowrie and Rattray, toad patrol, the monthly nature surveys, or the bioblitz, email

Alternatively, follow ‘BiodiversityBlair’ on Facebook and Instagram for up-to-date information on events and work parties.