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Eden Court weekend event to showcase Trees for Life's Affric Highlands youth engagement programme with photo exhibit Portraits of Recovery

By Federica Stefani

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Scots Pines at Glen Affric. Picture by: Grant Willoughby
Scots Pines at Glen Affric. Picture by: Grant Willoughby

A REWILDING charity with its home Loch Ness will be hosting an exhibition and event in the Highland Capital to showcase a new initiative to involve young people.

Dundreggan-based Trees for Life will showcase its Affric Highlands youth engagement programme on Saturday July 2 at Eden Court in Inverness with the launch of a nature-inspired photography exhibition and a new Green Leadership Award.

Starting at noon, the Portraits of Recovery exhibition opening event features work created by young people who live in the Affric Highlands area and will be opened by professional landscape photographer Mark Littlejohn, who is based in Wester Ross.

Alan McDonnell, programme development manager at Trees for Life, said: “People are central to rewilding and to the success of Affric Highlands, so we are really excited to be working with schools and community organisations at this early stage of the project’s development.

“By nurturing the deep connections that local young people have with this awe-inspiring landscape, we hope they will become nature champions within their communities, inspired by the physical and mental wellbeing benefits that rewilding brings.”

Invergarry Primary School, Kilchuimen Academy, Arnisdale and Glenelg Youth Group, and young people who access NHS Highland Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, have all taken part.This will be part of the inaugural Highland Climate Festival.

The young people’s photographs explore their connection to the local landscape, and how nature can help with their sense of wellbeing.

Following the opening of the exhibition, Trees for Life and High Life Highland will launch a new Highlands Green Leadership SCQF Award, adding an environmental strand to High Life Highland’s existing Youth Leadership programme.

Elizabeth McDonald, leadership programme development officer at High Life Highland, said: “It’s brilliant to be working with Trees for Life in the development of this new Green Leadership Award and we welcome the opportunities it will bring to local people.

“Through our countryside ranger service, High Life Highland shares many of the aspirations of Trees for Life to protect biodiversity and tackle climate change, while involving and benefiting people. This new collaboration sets this exciting shared journey in motion.”

Prior to the exhibition launch (12 - 2 pm), local artist Innes Anderson will lead a family-friendly eco-art workshop in Eden Court’s Jim Love Studio. Participants will get a first look at the 30 featured photographs, with the opportunity to provide creative responses and feedback.

Portraits of Recovery will be on display at Eden Court’s 1st-floor gallery space until 30 July. The workshop is free to attend with no prior booking required.

For more information, see treesforlife.org.uk.

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