Team July

I didn’t think it was possible for time to go by any quicker than June but actually, July did exactly that! A lot of clearing for July of bracken and general growth from paths, roadsides and around trees although to get a break from clearing for a day a week the Craft Fairs have started up every Monday from the beginning of July until the end of August.

We worked away on clearing the forestry path that then links up with the main forestry road. A lot of midges and flies kept us company….

Back to continue clearing back the main forestry road, sunshine today though! We even got to play with draining the larger puddles from the road, what fun…!

More clearing but this time around trees in the largest of the newer plantation sites in the forestry and along came a grass hopper checking up on progress…. then onto pulling thistles from our graveyard with a very pleasant sunny stop for lunch.

IMG_1035

Team July – left  to right, Kathryn, Rachel, Andrew and Ewen.

Back to the good old Scottish weather we know! We worked on clearing the main roadside to allow better visibility for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists for the busiest part of the summer as there seems to be a lot of folk around this year.

Back to clearing back the bracken and overgrowth on the roadside. Kathryn is still smiling even after being here for a whole month and beating back so much bracken!! I hope Augusts volunteers are going to be just as enthusiastic towards bracken….

Advertisements

June

June seemed to fly by in a flash of wonderful weather, the finest display of Bluebells I have seen in many years, cuckoos cuckooing to their hearts content, birds on the busiest nest building, courtships and chick action and even the minke, dolphins and porpoises put in an appearance! Need I say much more… June was a very enjoyable month. Oh yeah, nearly forgot to mention the wonderful volunteers! Volunteers for June have been another fantastic enthusiastic bunch. Many more tasks complete, a lot less brambles and some  more cleared paths. Quite a varied month for tasks mostly down to having last minute cancellations or no shows, so plans had to be adjusted to suit our smaller numbers. I even managed to sign up new volunteers to boost our numbers for a couple of the days by chatting to holiday makers at the pier and they very kindly came along to help out!

IMG_0527

Burning some of the many brambles we have been busy cutting back…

Clearing one of the paths of which was totally spectacular with bluebells although the pictures really do not do justice to just how fantastic a display we were treated to.

IMG_2569

One of our Shorewatches for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation. It involves 10minutes of scanning the seas and noting down, weather conditions, bird activity, any cetaceans and beating off the midges while trying to concentrate on distinguishing the difference between a little wave cap or a surfacing cetacean!

Back to the bird hide to try and continue with the expert stone laying done by Daniel to form the floor. Emma was well up for the challenge and got totally into the zone that seems to come over you when working with natural sources such as stone. That is the main foundations ready for the wooden structure to be built. Just a massive amount of digging required around the edges next….

Naomi continued with the digging challenge, moving a lot of soil around and having a shot at landscaping!

We gave the digging a rest for a day to clear some overhanging branches from a pathway and then headed to Kildonan to clear the sudden takeover of the dreaded bracken that was growing so high it was hiding the access style down to the wee coastal path.

Onto clearing around small trees in the forestry. We managed to clear two different sites of mixed species – Rowan, Birch, Bird Cherry and Oak. We were very thankful to have the assistance from Pedro the SWT volunteer.

Then we had a complete changeover of volunteers to end June so as it was all brand new for them we went back to the bramble attack!

We then went on a ragwort hunt, although before any work could begin we had to get past the security guard goat…. we then got greeted by geese, chickens and ducks to then the horses cantering down the hill which was slightly frightening as we weren’t quite sure if they were friend or foe! After befriending all the many animals we got started on the ragwort in the horse field and along came the butterflies feeding off the wild thyme, quite magnificent!

We helped out the crofters on the common grazing by removing and collecting the old fence running along the cliff top between Laig beach and Singing Sands. Cutting the wire, and pulling up the old posts making sure any fencing staples were collected to avoid damage to the cows hooves. The rain made an appearance by the afternoon but we managed to get a dry spot for our lunch break under an overhanging down on Singing Sands.

Many other experiences and exciting things happened through the month of June like croft days, Eigg’s anniversary 19th buyout ceilidh, volunteers climbing to the top of the Sgurr to soak in the outstanding views with such clear days, I even managed to escape for a few days for a short break, not very far but took a picture from the ferry on route to Canna! We then had the Howlin Fling festival to begin July with the influx of an extra 150 people and many bands. All in all a varied and incredibly busy June.