Artworks featuring native wildlife have been created to mark 25 years since the opening of Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre.
Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre is in the heart of industrial Grangemouth. It was gifted by ICI (now Calachem) to the Scottish Wildlife Trust who transformed the site from a disused railway siding into valuable wildlife habitat.
“Jupiter is helping to connect people with nature and is an excellent resource for local schools, providing opportunities for walking, bird watching and even pond dipping. These types of outdoor activities can have a big impact on people’s physical health and mental well-being.” Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
The centre covers an area the size of four football pitches (four hectares) and features a range of habitats including woodland, wetland and biodiversity gardens.
It opened in 1992 and now welcomes around 7,000 visitors each year and hosts regular events to help local families and young people experience wildlife.
A mosaic and a large mural designed by local schoolchildren to mark the anniversary were unveiled by Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, at an anniversary celebration at the centre.
The Minister also met our staff and volunteers, and joined children from Jupiter Wildlife Watch group for some pond dipping.
Our Chair Robin Harper said: “Jupiter has been at the heart of the local community since it opened in 1992 and it has gone from strength to strength since then.
“It is vitally important that young people have regular first-hand encounters with wildlife, because simple activities such as pond dipping or hunting for mini-beasts can be a spark for a deep sense of care for the natural environment.
“Many of the young people who came here in the early years are now returning with their own children, something I’m sure will continue for generations to come.”
Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Congratulations to Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre for providing a fantastic urban oasis to the Grangemouth community for the last 25 years.
“Jupiter is helping to connect people with nature and is an excellent resource for local schools, providing opportunities for walking, bird watching and even pond dipping. These types of outdoor activities can have a big impact on people’s physical health and mental well-being.
“Thanks to the Scottish Wildlife Trust staff and all the volunteers who have worked here over the years for the wonderful job they have done. I have no doubt that the centre will continue to provide a home for people and nature for decades to come.”
Two murals marking the anniversary have been designed and painted by pupils from Grangemouth High School and Falkirk High School. They include a range of wildlife found at the reserve such as bats, birds and spiders, and also reflect the reserve’s industrial heritage.
Rachel Laird, an S3 pupil at Falkirk High School said: “Creating the murals has been a very enjoyable and worthwhile experience. It is different to anything I’ve done before, and it has been great working with the rangers, and learning about the wildlife in our local area.”
Helen Miller, Art and Design Teacher, Grangemouth High School said: “We were so excited to be asked by Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre to help celebrate its 25th anniversary. The school has been involved with previous art projects with Jupiter so being given this opportunity to continue this with a new generation of pupils was simply wonderful.”
A free celebration event is taking place at Jupiter on Saturday 20th May from 10:30 am – 3:30 pm with a range of fun-filled family activities. Drop in anytime.