Froglife’s Scottish Dragon Finder project is now one year old and we’ve had such an amazing year of highlights all over Scotland.
We have hosted a huge variety of different events across Scotland. Our Dragon Tails sessions have involved schools and youth groups across Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire, Fife and the Scottish Borders, and we have also been lucky enough to visit groups in Orkney and Stornoway! Dragon Tails introduces children to amphibians and reptiles through fun activities and aims to inspire an interest and understanding in our species. We worked with the Turriff Girlguides earlier this year to perform an amazing amphibian play showing the adventures of Frankie, a young frog on his way to paradise pond.
Our Dragons in your Garden sessions have been a great success this year, going out to allotments and community gardens in locations including Stirling, Perth, Ayrshire and Glasgow. Groups have kindly hosted us whilst we offer advice to gardeners on how to make their spaces more wildlife friendly, as well as actively helping groups to enhance their gardens. For one of our sessions, we had a fantastic day with Green Routes in Stirling building a bog garden and were fortunate to try some of their home-made frog cake!
Dragons on the Move is Froglife’s roadshow event, where the team travels to venues across Scotland to run talks, walks, crafts and wildlife activities such as pond-dipping and reptile rummages, offering free experiences to local people. We’ve had some great days out this year running group sessions at the Dundee Science Festival and engaging with families at Pollok Country Park in Glasgow. Also seeing the beautiful landscapes of Dunnet and Inverewe Estate in the Highlands and meeting so many enthusiastic locals.
If all this wasn’t enough, the Scottish Dragon Finder project has been busy restoring and creating ponds in Perth and Kinross, Angus and the Highlands. So far, we’ve had major works to create complexes of ponds with dipping platforms, construct natively vegetated pond embankments and create more open water at older ponds where plants had taken over. These works have been received with enthusiasm from local people and will offer fantastic areas for frogs, toads and newts to lay eggs and take shelter in the future. The real highlight has been the achievements of Froglife’s and local groups volunteers who have donated their time and energy to improve new ponds with native plants for amphibians, clear trees from shady ponds and create hibernacula for wildlife sheltering in the winter amongst many other activities!
Our Scottish Dragon Finder project officer, James Stead, added “It’s been a fantastic first year of the Scottish Dragon Finder project and it’s great that the activities take us all across Scotland including the Scottish islands. This allows us to meet many families, children and groups eager to get involved – we’re all set to have the success continue into the second year and beyond!”
The Scottish Dragon Finder project is a 4.5 year project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and working with a host of other partners / organisations. Find out more about Scottish Dragon Finder here