A new and exciting conservation project called Species on the Edge will launch at a free family fun day event hosted by Butterfly Conservation Scotland at Logie Quarry, near Tain, on Saturday 3 June.

The ambitious project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is a partnership of eight of Scotland’s nature conservation organisations who are striving to conserve over 37 nationally and internationally vulnerable species in seven areas around Scotland’s coast and islands including the Marsh Fritillary, Small Blue and Northern Brown Argus butterflies. There will be nine specific projects with two coordinated by Butterfly Conservation.

The free family fun day will mark the start of this four and a half-year project and all people local to the area are invited to come along and to find out more. The day will include an assortment of activities including moth trapping, butterfly hunts, stone painting, opportunities to learn how to survey and the chance to explore the beautiful and unique site of Logie Quarry. Entry is free and home-baking, tea, coffee and juice is provided. A picnic is encouraged!

Tracy Munro, Species on the Edge Project Officer says: “We’re very excited to host the launch for the Species on the Edge project at Logie Quarry. Our thanks go to the Balnagown Estate for access to the quarry where we have been working very closely to improve the habitat for two threatened butterflies; Small Blue and Dingy Skipper, via projects funded by Highland Council’s Nature Restoration fund. 

“This year’s event comes as the grand finale to our annual Small Blue Week which celebrates and provides opportunity for people to learn about the UK’s smallest (but still very beautiful) butterfly. It also celebrates a proud 30 years of our Butterfly Conservation Highland Branch.

“We’re very pleased and excited to be involved in the Species on the Edge and can’t wait to get started with further conservation action for some of our most threatened species of butterfly. Butterflies are wider indicators of the health of our natural environment, but very sadly 80% of butterflies have declined across the UK since the 1970s. It’s within our power to change this and we’re pleased to launch this new programme, alongside our partners, on 3 June.”

Species on the Edge is led by NatureScot with the Rethink Nature partnership (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and RSPB).

Species on the Edge Programme Manager, Fiona Strachan, says: “It’s great to be able to come together to launch Species on the Edge. The programme is already active in all our seven areas and is a fantastic example of partnership working. We have a team of 17 Project Officers and People Engagement Officers who are hosted by the partner organisations and based in the project areas – they are already working together to secure a future for our priority species and to provide a wide variety of opportunities for people to get involved. We are keen to connect with as many people as possible and inspire them to help us protect the unique species found on Scotland’s coasts and islands.”

The family fun day will be held at Logie Quarry. Enter through the old entrance, Grid Ref NH7739 7613, What3words: drives.issued.parkland. For more information about the Small Blue Week and the Species on the Edge Launch go to www.butterfly-conservation.org/in-your-area/scottish-office