Training day at wildlife centre a success

MEMBERS of the Caithness Biodiversity Group and Caithness Countryside Volunteers recently learned about the best techniques to collect and store wild flower seeds.
A training day was held on Saturday 10 September at Highland Council Planning and Development Service’s wildlife centre at Dunnet Bay, Seadrift, and the volunteers were trained by Giles Laverack and Fiona Guest from Scotia Seeds.
The Local Biodiversity Group decided to organise a wildflower seed collection training event to encourage people to collect wildflower seed from local sources. This in turn will assist with several biodiversity projects currently running in the county such as the Great Yellow Bumble Bee, road verge and the seed bank projects.
Scotia Seeds gave an indoor presentation for the morning session before the volunteers got out and about around the Castlehill Flagstone Trail to collect seed from various wildlife flowers.
Marina Swanson, Highland Council Countryside Ranger said: “We hope the training will help people become more successful in collecting viable seed. The course covered aspects of seed collecting including ripeness and storage which are vital to collecting wildlife flower seed. By using local sources, we hope to be able to expand suitable habitats for our local wildlife such as the Great Yellow Bumble bee and small blue butterfly, and assist with other local biodiversity projects”.
The training was part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Highland LEADER 2007-2013 Programme. It received match funding from Highland Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB Scotland.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the work of the Caithness Biodiversity Group or Caithness Countryside Volunteers can contact Marina Swanson on 01955607758 or e-mail
For further information please contact: Marina Swanson, East Caithness Ranger, The Highland Council, Bruce Building, Sinclair Terrace, Wick Caithness KW1 5AB Tel: 01955 607758.