Highland Council signs up to be an Earth Hour star
19th March 2014
The Highland Council has once again been awarded Super Local Authority status by WWF for its commitment to Earth Hour. At 8.30pm on Saturday 29 March the people of Highland will join hundreds of millions across the globe in switching off their lights for 60 minutes in a graphic demonstration of support for people and wildlife threatened by climate change. When the lights switch off, it’s our planet’s time to shine.
The Council has participated in Earth Hour each year since it began in 2008. As a show of support, it has arranged for the floodlighting to be switched off at key landmarks including Ruthven Barracks, Kingussie, Inverness Castle, Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit, and Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie.
New for this year there will be a number of Earth Hour themed events on Saturday the 29th of March. The Council’s Countryside Rangers have organised evening events next Saturday in Inverness, the Isle of Skye, Grantown on Spey and Glen Nevis, Lochaber.
In Inverness from 8pm-9.30pm the Rangers will be leading a torch lit nocturnal wildlife walk through Ness Islands which is suitable for families. This will be a great chance to discover what wildlife enjoys the darkness of the Islands. Anyone coming along should bring a torch and the cost is £3 for adults; £2 concessions and £8/£5 for families.
In Grantown on Spey the Rangers will be celebrating Earth Hour with a night time Ghost walk, exploring the Viewpoint Walk with head torches. Why not come along to listen to the sounds of the night, hear local ghostly tales and check the stars and planets along the way? Hot chocolate and buns will await walkers once they reach the top. Running from 7.30pmn-10pm the event is suitable for families but not pushchairs as the route has some steep steps. Anyone wishing to come along should meet up with Ranger Saranne Bish at the Grantown Caravan park for 7.30pm. The cost is £5 for Adults, £3 concession and £12/£9 for families. For further information give Saranne a call on 01479 873914.
Night skies and nocturnal nature will feature during a special Earth Hour stargazing event that takes place near Sleat on the Isle of Skye. The Rangers will be joining the Dark Sky Astronomers to host an hour of events for people to enjoy including a candle lit look at the different constellations, moth and small mammal traps to see which creatures are out and about and a nocturnal animal quiz with hot chocolate and home baking to keep everyone warm. Running from 8.30-9.30pm the event takes place in the Kinloch Forest Night Sky Discovery Site. Booking is essential so anyone wishing to come along should contact the Rangers Ellie MacLennan or John Phillips on 01471 820526 to book a place.
Art in the Dark is the title of the event to be held from 8.30-9.30pm at the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre. This will be an outdoor event so anyone wishing to come along should wear warm clothing, bring a torch as well as any odd gloves they have lying around. A hot warming drink will be served to those who also bring along a mug, with a prize for the best one. The cost is £3 for adults; £2 concession and £8 for families. All places must be booked in advance by telephoning the Rangers on 01397 705922.
Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland said: “It’s fantastic news that Highland Council is once again supporting WWF's Earth Hour in 2014. This year looks set to be another amazing event with people, organisations and communities up and down the country joining together in a dramatic hour of action on climate change.
“WWF’s Earth Hour is a simple way to show support for protecting our brilliant planet by tackling climate change. Highland Council’s decision to become an Earth Hour star demonstrates their commitment to this issue. Earth Hour is our planet’s time to shine - we hope everyone will feel inspired to join us in a dazzling display of support by signing up today.”
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry said: “WWF’s Earth Hour unites people across the globe and is an event the Council has strongly supported since it was launched so we are delighted to once again to play our part in promoting the importance of protecting the planet. The Ranger led events complement the switch off of flood lights and will give more people the chance to get involved. It is really about getting everyone to think about the energy they use, where it comes from and the impact that has on the environment and climate change.”
The Highland Council's Countryside Rangers provide a wide range of events and activities for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy throughout the year. For a copy of their latest events guide and an easy to use calendar to finding out what's on in your area visit www.outdoorhighlands.co.uk