I'm responsible for the delivery of Scottish Wildcat Action’s Communications plan, PR, marketing and promotion of the project's key messages through our website and social media channels. My role also involves working with the media.
Latest News - When you go down to the woods today you may or may not be surprised
It has come to our attention of late that unsuspecting passers-by have been somewhat perplexed by our trail camera set ups in some of our Scottish Wildcat Priority Areas.
To anyone not familiar with trail cameras and how they are set up to photo trap wildcats and feral cats, the sight of a camera wrapped around a tree, a dead bird attached to a post and a wing hanging from a tree may appear more than a little strange.
All this, of course, is absolutely necessary if we at Scottish Wildcat Action are to attract the elusive wildcat. We also use valerian root to lure them in front of our cameras, which take a snap shot when they detect movement.
We thought it wouldn't hurt to reassure anyone who comes across our camera set ups that this is not some pagan ritual site or anything more sinister than part of our crucial work in Strathpeffer, Strathbogie, Morvern, Angus Glens and Northern Strathspey to help save the most endangered mammal on UK shores.
We already have an army of volunteers who are helping us camera trap this winter and they too are regularly setting up trail camera sites just like this to help identify Scottish wildcats.
Photo of a camera set up near Strathpeffer Primary School
Even schools are getting in on the act and Strathpeffer Primary is one of the schools who has volunteered to set up a trail camera near their school and monitor it.
Our Project Officer for Strathpeffer and Angus Glens, Nicola Tallach, said: "We are extremely pleased to have so many willing volunteers who are helping us look out for Scottish wildcats this winter.
"It's really heartening that schools like Strathpeffer are getting involved too. It's a great, hands-on way to learn more about the environment and specifically about the critically endangered Scottish wildcat, which still has a foothold in their area.
"This generation is almost certainly the last to have a chance of saving this iconic species and the greater level of understanding there is from a young age, the better the future is for the Scottish wildcat."
Nicola added: "Anyone can become part of #GenerationWildcat because the time is now to save Scotland's wildcats."
We spoke with Strathpeffer Primary School's Head Teacher, Carolyn Ritchie, who said the children were thrilled to be involved. She passed on this collective statement from the children, which said:
"Primary 7 at Strathpeffer Primary School are delighted to be taking part in the wildcat project and we hope to raise more awareness of wildcats in our local area. Our camera is in a good location and we are hoping to catch images of the wildcat, that would be so exciting!"
If you already own or are thinking of buying a trail camera to established whether or not there are Scottish wildcats living in your area, we have produced this handy Scottish wildcat camera trapping guide to help you get started. But please remember if you want to set up a trap on someone else's land, please remember to ask the landowner for permission.
If anyone recognises either of the below cats please get in touch by emailing Strathpeffer@scottishwildcataction.org
Pictured below are just two of the visitors to the Strathpeffer Primary trail camera so far
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