CLIF, the energy bar company, has pledged £10,000 to fund a conservation project in the Cairngorms National Park.
The project will focus on the endangered narrow headed ant and will take place later in the year on the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge Estate in Deeside.
CLIF are passionate about protecting the places in which its customers play and the communities in which they live, and has a long history of supporting environmental projects in the USA and Canada.
Last year they began supporting projects in the UK National Parks and the Cairngorms National Park received £2500 to put towards environmental projects.
Hayley Wiswell, Ecologist at the Cairngorms National Park Authority is leading on the project, she explains:
“The Cairngorms National Park is a stronghold for the narrow-headed ant which is related to the wood ant.
“The climate emergency and changing forestry practices are happening too quickly for populations to disperse naturally to their preferred habitats at the edges of woodland and in clearings.
“This project will involve captive breeding the ants and releasing them to supplement the existing threatened population and also will involve moving nests to better locations.”
Grant Moir, CEO at the Cairngorms National Park Authority said:
“The Cairngorms National Park is home to 25% of the UK’s most threatened species, a key area of our work is to improve the conservation status of threatened or declining species through the Cairngorms Nation Action Plan.
“Woods ants are a priority species listed in the plan and this support from Clif Bar will enable us to focus our efforts so that we can be in a stronger position to protect and conserve this species on a much wider scale.
“We appreciate the help of the National Trust for Scotland at this very difficult time for the organisation and look forward to working together on this project in the months to come.”
In addition to the work at Mar Lodge Estate the project will also improve the knowledge of other wood ants species throughout the rest of Deeside.
Through mapping and survey work ecologists will be able to identify areas where sections of forest can be better connected for wood ants to move and disperse to other suitable habitats.
David Smith, Senior Marketing Manager at Clif Bar Europe, said:
“At CLIF, we are purpose-led and are committed to sustaining our people, community, planet, brands and business.
“Last year we brought these values to the UK with the National Parks partnership and are tremendously proud of what we have achieved.
“We are confident that the additional projects, supported through the UK National Parks Protectors Fund, will help ensure that these outstanding landscapes are available for generations to visit and enjoy.”