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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 23:04 GMT 00:04 UK
Weavers join capercaillie fight
Miss Scotland launches 'Capercaillie Tartan'
Miss Scotland joined forces with the RSPB to launch the tartan
A new tartan named after the capercaillie has been spun by leading Scottish weavers in an effort to help save the UK's most endangered bird.

The Capercaillie Tartan, which was launched by Miss Scotland, incorporates the colours of the woodland grouse.

The RSPB will receive a 7% royalty on all products made from the fabric in a unique deal with weavers Lochcarron.

It said the money would go towards creating habitats and promoting the bird's precarious situation.

More than 20,000 capercaillies, which can reach up to three feet in length, used to roam the forests of northern Scotland.

Their numbers have reduced significantly through contact with deer fencing and natural predators and a lack of suitable forest habitat.

The idea for the tartan came from the Scottish Tartan Authority.

Its chairman, Alistair Buchan, is also the owner of Lochcarron.

He said: "I got a very favourable response from RSPB when I proposed this project, so I sat down and created a design that will hopefully heighten the profile of this critically endangered species by incorporating the beautiful primary colours of the bird into the tartan."

People now have the opportunity to help save the magnificent capercaillie while purchasing such a stunning tartan
Alison Connelly
RSPB Scotland

Nicola McLean, 22, who won a Scottish beauty pageant in June this year, said she wanted to help protect the wildlife of her home country.

"When I was told about the poor old capercaillie and asked to help with this tartan launch, I was only too keen to get involved," she said.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about Scottish environmental issues and make a little bit of a difference to conserving my heritage."

Alison Connelly, of RSPB Scotland, said: "We are delighted that people now have the opportunity to help save the magnificent capercaillie while purchasing such a stunning tartan, which has been inspired by the beauty of the bird itself."

Capercaillie tartan products will be on sale at RSPB reserve shops, via its mail order catalogue or at www.rspbshop.co.uk. Selected retailers will also stock the tartan.

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