August

The team of volunteers has fluctuated throughout the month. We started the month with two, briefly up to three for a week and then down to one but we have ended the month a full team of three. So all is well in the land of volunteering and it looks like we might even get all our projected projects finished for the year… well almost!

We were back thinking about the bird hide briefly and removed bark from the trees. After our amazingly skilled ways and new talent for our CV’s of bark removers, the trees will be planked for use on the main structure of the hide any day now hopefully!!

We then moved on to the major task of one of the branch off’s from the main forestry path that leads past Eigg Electric’s hydro dam leading down to the hydro at Laig farm. The first few days while still on the main track wasn’t so hard going just a lot of brambles taking over another area of Eigg!

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We ducked out of bramble duties for a day to join our SWT warden, Dean Jones on his very last guided walk for the season. We were blessed with sunshine, damselflies, dragonflies, butterflies (some all the way from France) and a wealth of knowledge on the herbal uses of the abundant wildflowers and plants. Some flowers and plants I usually class as a weed have incredibly vital and beneficial herbal uses for the most common of complaints to more preventative potions! We never saw one bird, I think they were all in hiding seeing as Dean got sunshine for the walk as it has rained 9 out of 10 walks. You can’t have it all!

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And then we were down to one! Ellis, had signed up to volunteer for 6wks then found herself the only volunteer standing for a week! We started on the original Laig shortcut path focusing on the heavily overgrown first section down to the bridge. This track hasn’t been used for many years which became quickly obvious when we began…. I started to wonder if I had bitten off more than we could chop! We had to cut our way through the fearsomely spikey blackthorn shrubs which was, well prickly! This shortcut was the route a local used to walk to school every day back in the days before the school bus! Once we got down to the bridge I was completely stumped as to where the path used to go so we have had to call a pause on works until verification is made! Laig shortcut – To be continued….

I then managed to set Ellis up for the following days volunteering on the Isle of Rum through the Ranger. This seemed to work well and the trickiest part was finding the days the ferry connects directly with each island which seems mad when we are so close. By the time Ellis returned we had a full team of three to round the month off nicely. With our larger team the antics seemed to heighten also with all sorts of hilarity and shenanigans being carried out!

With our larger numbers we were able to continue with the forestry path making it down past the hydro dam and through a lot of heather, brambles and shrubbery. Enough to set folk a tad murderous! Don’t worry nobody was hurt in the process of the path clearance! I never added this kind of thing to my risk assessments….! Here is some pretty pictures from the path to finish up with this month.

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