Get ready for Grantown’s Big Nature Weekend

A Big Weekend in Grantown

With spring in full swing, everyone is keen to be outdoors and enjoying the glorious Highland air. May is often a month of great weather here in Grantown and there are lots of ways to savour the sunshine. 

This year, the Cairngorms Nature Big Weekend is being held in the middle of May, with hundreds of events across the park area. Grantown will be the venue for lots of brilliant nature-focussed events – there is something for the whole family, whether you like animals or plants or beasties. There’s even a fantastic fun run for those with lots of energy!

To help you pick your perfect weekend, we’ve rounded up details of all the Grantown sessions.

Volunteering with Plantlife: Discovering Twinflower

Get hands-on with this conservation activity with Plantlife at Anagach Woods. Participants will take cuttings of the Twinflower – one of Scotland’s most delicate wildflowers – in order to help the recovery of its population.


From wildcats to wee beasties: native species restoration in the Cairngorms National Park

This evening event at the Osprey Room at the Grant Arms Hotel will focus on conservation breeding schemes that aim to help two special species thrive again in the park area. 

Dr Keri Langridge, conservation manager for Saving Wildcats, will talk about the project to prevent the extinction of wildcats in Scotland. Meanwhile, Dr Helen Taylor, the conservation programme manager for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, will discuss the scheme to breed and release the critically endangered pine hoverfly – as seen on the BBC series, Inside the Zoo.

  • May 13, 5pm-6pm,
  • Suitable for ages 16+,
  • Free,
  • No booking necessary.


Grantown Family Fun Run

The Grantown Initiative is challenging families to stretch their legs for this fundraising event in Anagach Woods. The 3km course will take participants through the beautiful community-owned forest.

There will be a warm-up session, led by High Life Highland, along with a treasure hunt. 

Riverside Fun

The Spey Catchment Initiative and Spey Fishery Board will host loads of fun and interactive activities to help you learn more about Grantown’s beautiful river. Staff will discuss a range of topics, including Atlantic salmon, conservation and fishing. James Symonds from the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative will also be on hand with a display of invasive species fighting equipment and is available for a chat.

River Dipping: 10:30 – 13:00
Bring your wellies and get close to the myriad mini-creatures living in our rivers
Suitable for adults and children.
No booking necessary.

Fly Fishing Taster Session: 12:00 – 14:30
Learn how to fly fish on the Spey with tips from expert anglers. Each session last 30minutes.
Suitable for adults and children.
Book your place or drop-in on the day.

Guided Tour: Visit to Delliefure Burn floodplain restoration project 13:30 – 14:30
Visit a farm in the are to learn about the Spey Catchment Initiative’s work to improve a small modified burn and re-connect it to the flood plain.

Transport to site by car provided then short walk on rough ground.
Max. 8 people so booking is essential

Stories Round the Fire: Minibeasts

These two storytelling sessions at Grantown Library will focus on creepy-crawly things with a host of fun activities, games and craft. Led by High Life Highland Countryside Ranger Saranne Bish, the events are aimed at youngsters.

    • May 14, 10.30am-11.30am, for P1-3
    • May 14, 2-4pm, for P4-7
    • Suitable for families, under 12s must be accompanied by an adult.
    • Free,
    • You must book your place!


Glenbeg: Walking tour of Grantown’s hidden gem

Join Strathspey Tours for a circular walk round Glenbeg, outside Grantown and learn some of the history of the area. And you’ll get some stunning views along the way!

    • May 14, 10am-12.30am,
    • Suitable for 12+,
    • Free,
    • No booking necessary but advice on terrain is available.

Have a go at Orienteering

The Badenoch and Strathspey Orienteering Club will celebrate World Orienteering Day with a taster event in Church Wood. This friendly event will challenge you to find as many flags as possible in 30mins. The course will be open for two hours, allowing you to start at anytime.

  • May 14, course open from 1.30pm-3.30pm,
  • Suitable for all ages, under 12s must be accompanied by an adult,
  • Free,
  • No booking necessary but a contact will be taken for insurance purposes.




Family foraging walk

Head out into Anagach Woods for a foraging adventure with Secret Strathspey. You’ll learn loads of facts about how plants and trees have been used in the past – from furniture to medicine. And there’ll be some intriguing tales about why some plants were believed to protect people from evil.

Highland Mammals Treasure Trail

Head to Anagach Woods to learn about mammals living in the Cairngorms forest. This self-guided trail challenges families to discover the lives of creatures through a series of fun activities. High Life Highland Countryside Rangers will provide your pack and send you off into the forest.

  • May 15, 1pm-4pm,
  • Suitable for families,
  • Free,
  • No booking necessary.


BIG Weekend BBQ

To round off the whole weekend, Grantown will host a huge family barbecue, including music and a raffle. Come along to The Pagoda in Seafield Avenue for the event, which will feature food from Grantown Diner and Cairngorm Butchers!

  • May 15, 4pm-9pm,
  • Suitable for families,
  • Free, but don’t forget some money for food,
  • No booking necessary.



Wild Cairngorms Art competition

Alongside all the outdoor activities, there’s a chance for children to show their creative sides in a fantastic art competitionYoungsters are being challenged to produce a piece of art inspired by the Cairngorms National Park, under the theme, Wild Cairngorms.

You can use any materials to create your piece, although photographs are not eligible for entry. There are three categories: Nursery to P3, P4-7, and Secondary. 

A shortlist will be created after the May 1 deadline, with each of the shortlisted entries winning a goody bag. Then the public will vote on their favourites to decide the winners in each category.

The winners will receive a pair of RSPB binoculars and a guide to identifying birds.