Interested in Wildlife? Do you love the Outdoors? Are you an avid birder, with interests in raptor species, garden birds or just simply a nature lover?
Nothing better than spending the weekend at the first ever Scottish Bird Fair which was held at the famous Hopetoun House on the outskirts of Edinburgh (19th & 20th of May. 2012).
The event was organised by the Royal Society of Protection for Birds (RSPB) Scotland in association with THE SCOTSMAN, Birdwatch, BTO, SOC, in focus, visitwestlothian and EventScotland.
The venue itself was the grand Hopetoun House which is an exceptional ancestral home and traditional residence of the Earl of Hopetoun. Situated near South Queensferry near Edinburgh, Scotland, Hopetoun House is one of the finest examples of 18th century architecture in Britain. It is said to be Scotland’s finest stately home. Surrounded with over 150 acres of splendid grounds to explore around the house, the venue for the Scottish Bird Fair made way to excellent walks and trails for people interested in learning about the area.
The two days events hosted talks on ornithologists from across the area. These talks were held in a separate talks marquee which started at 10am and carried on till 5pm.
Along with talks, there were workshops, exhibitions, stalls, walks and special events like the Firth of Forth seabird cruise, Scottish BirdFair Silent Auction, Crafts and Pony rides (which was riding on ponies for raising funds for a west lothian disability charity group. An excellent cause).
One of the main aims of this fair was to get children involved in nature activities and certainly the host were very good at organising games, face paintings, children wildlife photography classes and the amazing Tipi Tent for great storytelling. These storytelling was focusing on Puffin’s lifecycle through a puppet show where kids were taken far away to the fantastic tales by experienced and professional story tellers.
Another importance of the fair was to promote local produce with showcasing the local scottish farmer markets. Nothing better then eating a plate of fresh Scottish Mussel’s with a mix of local cider in white sauce and garlic. Other promotions for people visiting the fair included Pimms / real ale bar and the Slavonian Grebe Gold (Golden Pale Ale) brewed exclusively for the Scottish Bird Fair by Falkirk Tryst Brewery. The Saturday evening ended with fantastic live music and barbecue for exhibitors to engage in networking.
The famous Black Grouse Whisky were present at the fair. They are in partnership with RSPB and donate money from their sales towards conservation efforts and are committed in contributing more to the charities mission for the coming years. Along with this other local ales of the area were the Hopetoun Ale and famous malts from the Isle of Islay.
There were individual displays of stands by exhibitors from various wildlife charities, trusts, organisation, books and magazines publishers from around the globe to travel & tourism and the best optics brands. There was something for everyone present.
These two days ended beautifully with great sunny weather and all events were well organised by RSPB Scotland. The fabulous setting of the Hopetourn House and its gardens made it a perfect venue for the first Scottish Bird Fair.
We hope to participate yearly and see this event prosper each year and be a part of this amazing weekend coming 2013. It was certainly A Wild Day Out ……
Wild Navigator thanks our new International Travel Member Asian Adventures in participating at the Scottish Bird Fair. We will be attending the British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland coming August 17th – 19th ‘ 2012 and look forward to the event.
Have your say on the Scottish Bird Fair and would you like to be a part of the event in 2013?