We moved on to bashing Rhody’s next, not that fun a job but highly satisfying! We pulled small new shoots and did our best to dig the roots of the larger regrowth.
The volunteers then spent the rest of the week resting the weary muscles after severe Rhody bashing and spent a couple of days with Gillian the SWT Ranger doing a butterfly transect, the Wednesday Wildlife Walk and then looking for a curlew’s nest (inconclusive!). They then went on to help out at Earth Connections Centre in the house and out in the garden with a final day for the week spent on a croft.
The following week we worked away on the forestry path and track clearing back brambles, general overgrowth on the path and pulling stray naturally regenerated conifers. we also had a half day clearing brambles from one of the newly planted tree sites. Very pleasant weather and even more enjoyable as pre midge season!
Creation of a new path was up next… with the help of Dean we took a route from just before going into Galmisdale field with a path that leads you from open woods, to a mossy fairyland, to bluebell paradise! The first part of the path was simple and straight forward, however the steepness of the bank (pictures below) myself and Dean had remembered quite differently when we planned it out last year! Everyone took the challenge and started digging a zigzag path to begin with, adding in steps here and there… sometimes you can’t forward plan you just have to start and then decide the next stage when you get there!
We took some time out of the path after some intense planning, digging and logistics for a more peaceful time on the hillside on our Shorewatch site. Eigg is part of the 32 sites around Scotland that is a recognised site by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) that volunteers keep data from regular watches for Whales, Dolphins and porpoises. Not many people know that Scotland is one of the best places for land-based whale and dolphin watching in Europe! It was training day for some new, on and off island volunteers, what a perfect day to sit out on the hill. Unfortunately we didn’t see anything this day. But then the more you watch….you may just see……