We are an environmental conservation and education charitable social enterprise. For the past three years we have maintained an environmental interpretation and education centre in the heart of Knapdale Forest: Home of the Scottish Beavers. We are open to the public and provide information about the best places to see our amazing wildlife, where to walk and cycle (and where to find a decent cup of tea!). We run a formal schools programme with both primary and highs schools in the area. We run a series of events, walks, presentations and activities throughout the year; everything from seashore safaris and moth mornings to beaver walks
and foraging. We also have a bio-recording remit and are in the process of building up a database of the species found locally whilst encouraging visitors to get involved in citizen science projects aimed at recording and ultimately protecting our wildlife and wild places.

The grant has enabled us to provide food for the wide variety of animals that live around the centre in order for visitors to see them and to gain an insight into their behaviour and interactions. Many tourists have never seen a red squirrel or pine marten and a sighting is often a high point of their visit. The grant has also enabled us to purchase ‘bait’ for our camera traps that we use to monitor the activities of the beavers and other species in the area. As well as providing fantastic footage for our social media outlets, the footage enables us to establish the presence or otherwise of particular animals in different areas.

Our feeders at the rear of our building have been a great success and we have now added a camera to one of them so visitors can get a close-up view of the feeding birds. As we run into the winter period the grant also allows to continue to feed the animals at this critical time when the centre is closed and our income is at its lowest.