National park BIG Weekend back with packed programme

The Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend is back after an absence of two years, with more than 60 events organised across the national park area.

Mark Dowie
Saturday, 7th May 2022, 7:00am
National park BIG Weekend back with packed programme

Running from May 12-15, the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has put together a programme that includes something for everyone, with family adventures, guided walks, musical entertainment and specialist ‘behind the scenes’ events. From bugs and wee beasties to furry and feathered friends, the four days will be a celebration of the diverse wildlife that lives within the national park area.

Television naturalist Gordon Buchanan will kick off the weekend with a topical discussion at Boat of Garten Hall on Thursday, May 12. ‘Landscapes and Livelihoods’ will feature a panel of conservationists and land managers and will look at how we nature recovery can be approached in a living, working national park.

Across the area, activities will include talks on wildlife, family fun natures days, a chance to see inside a capercaillie lek and music and writing workshops.

For those wanting to go deeper into nature there is a range of specialist walks and talks from experts who will inspire with their passion and knowledge, including a ‘behind the scenes’ tour on the Balmoral estate and volunteering opportunities.

This year, for the first time, there are also some specialist accessible events planned, including canoeing for disabled young people, off-road wheelchair trails and a hill walk for autistic adults.

Sarah Henshall, head of conservation at CNPA, said: “After two years of virtual events I’m so excited that we can finally invite people back to a BIG Weekend full of personal adventures and experiences for all the family. The Cairngorms really is a ‘Park for All’ and we have events to cater for every age and ability.

“Part of caring for this amazing place involves working together with many different partners, landowners and agencies. We’re delighted to be launching the BIG Weekend with our ‘Landscapes and Livelihoods’ event, which is designed to bring together a range of these voices for an open, honest and meaningful discussion on the key themes and challenges facing the national park.”

Full details at

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