The village of Carrbridge in the Cairngorms National Park has a population of around 700 people, it’s a popular destination for visitors and surrounded by native pinewoods.
Currently around 40 capercaillie live in the woods around the village, compared to approximately 50 in 2014. The presence of capercaillie around Carrbridge has been public knowledge for many years.
Carrbridge is playing a pivotal role in the Cairngorms Capercaillie Project as the first community in the Park to create and deliver its very own community-led action plan to help capercaillie. Through this process the village is helping the project learn how to successfully enable communities to take the lead. Using this learning the project will go on to collaborate with other communities in the Park, whilst continuing to help Carrbridge achieve its vision for capercaillie.
Carrbridge Capercaillie Community Working Group
The Carrbridge Capercaillie Community Working Group was established to support the project in the village and voluntarily provide advice and guidance. Alice Buttress, Anna Ronayne, Becky Badger, Bob Kemp, Sarah Kemp, Charlie Miller, Ewan Archer, Fiona Angella, Frank Law, Issie Inglis, Martyn O’Reilly and Justin Prigmore are all members. The group typically meet monthly and you can read the notes from their latest meetings below.
Carrbridge Community Working Group meeting notes:
Carrbridge Capercaillie News
Hand delivered to every household in the village each month, Carrbridge Capercaillie News is designed to keep residents up to date. The newsletter is overseen by the Carrbridge Capercaillie Community Working Group.
Read Carrbridge Capercaillie News online:
Listening to the community
Events have been held in the Village Hall for residents to share their ideas related to capercaillie conversation around the village. Residents have also been sharing their thoughts at public drop-in sessions in the village cafes & pub with Carrbridge’s Capercaillie Community Ranger, Emma, completing the project’s online survey and chatting to Carolyn, the Project Manager, as she’s been visiting people door to door.
More recently residents have also begun to work with Dr Alistair Bath and Monica Engel who are working to ensure residents have a representative voice concerning key issues facing the community and capercaillie around the village.
Carrbridge residents who've been particularly keen to crack on have helped develop and trial some volunteering activities. The village primary school have also been quick to respond and enjoyed a busy day with Emma learning all about their local capercaillie.
Developing new ideas
In addition to the ideas being explored in Carrbridge the Cairngorms Capercaillie Project is developing ways to involve residents and visitors to the Park in some of the more technical aspects of capercaillie conservation. This work includes developing an online app to enable more people to report sightings and signs of capercaillie. This will help strengthen monitoring work in the Park. Work is also underway to involve more people in habitat improvement work for capercaillie and pilot the process of local people helping to find capercaillie feathers. These can then be analysed to assess the genetic health of capercaillie in the Park & inform further conservation action.