John Muir Way celebrates its second anniversary with week long festivities

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Celebrations for the second anniversary of the John Muir Way kick off on April 16, with events across the Central Belt throughout the week.

The festivities, taking place from 16-24 April, honour the famous Scottish American environmentalist’s birthday and his namesake trail.

Ian Ross, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) chairman, said: “Many people have enjoyed walking and cycling the John Muir Way since it opened in 2014, with over 60,000 visitors a year. It’s a wonderful resource for people of any ability or fitness. You can walk a mile along the route near where you live – or walk the entire 134 miles. The route is an easy and enjoyable way for the 3 million people who live in the Central Belt to enjoy the outdoors.”

The festivities include bumblebee walks in a wildflower meadow at Balloch Castle in West Dunbartonshire, a bug walk at Lauderdale Park in Dunbar, a wildflower meadow discovery day at Kinneil Foreshore at Bo’Ness, as well as other events in Helensburgh (Duchess Wood), Strathblane, and the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens. Also on the schedule is a 12-mile walk along the John Muir Way, led by the Friends of Kinneil charity, from historic Kinneil House in Bo’ness to imposing Blackness Castle on April 16.

Suzanne Burgess, Conservation Officer from the charity Buglife, who are organising some of the activities, said: “Through the SNH-funded project, John Muir Pollinator Way, Buglife are running a series of walks, talks and workshops during his birthday week to raise awareness of the importance of our grassland meadows for pollinating insects and other wildlife. Events will train participants in how to create and manage grassland meadows, as well as how to identify and monitor our many pollinating insect species such as bees and hoverflies.”

There will also be the first-ever John Muir Coast Festival from April 22-24 in East Lothian, which includes a night golf event, an ultra-marathon, a free bike hire day and a wakeboarding competition. ties.

For more information on these events go to www.snh.gov.uk/enjoying-the-outdoors/celebrate-john-muir/jm-celebrations.