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Moffat ready to spread wings

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By Donald Turvill
Moffat
Moffat ready to spread wings

THE HIGHLY anticipated inaugural Golden Eagle Festival gets underway in Moffat next weekend.

And tickets for events are selling fast – with some now completely sold-out.

Top ornithologists, bird watchers and environmentalists feature in the programme, which is packed with a range of talks, activities and workshops suited to all ages.

Running from 19 to 26 September, it will be the first celebration of its kind ever in the UK.

There will be appearances from international falconer Lauren McGough, Alan Tweedie from the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, Justin Grant from the Scottish Raptor Study Group and many others.

Award-winning documentary the Eagle Huntress will be screened at the Old Well Theatre on Monday, September 20 and festival attendees will also have the opportunity to meet an eagle, take part in an ‘eagle hill’ fell run and learn about raptor identification over the course of the week.

Renowned wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan, whose movies include Tribes, Predators and Me and Life in the Snow, will deliver a sold-out keynote speech on Golden Eagles and other Scottish wildlife.

He said: “I’m delighted to be part of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project’s first ever Golden Eagle Festival and to support their important conservation work to ensure golden eagles once again flourish in southern skies.

“The thrill of seeing a golden eagle soaring over a Scottish hillside is an unbeatable experience.

“Each glimpse of this magical bird is special, but they should and could be more common in the south of Scotland.”

The arrival of the bird bonanza comes just after the announcement that south Scotland’s golden eagle population has doubled thanks to the efforts of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, which has organised the festival.

Eight chicks were recently transported to a secret location in the region from the Highlands – bringing the total total number of the rare birds successfully translocated by the charity project to 12.

Cat Barlow, the project’s manager said: “We are truly thrilled to host our first Eagle Festival to celebrate the new arrivals and thank all our supporters for the vital contributions they make to helping us increase the golden eagle population in the south of Scotland.”

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