First school trip to Tiroran community forest

Today children from Bunessan primary class 1 visited Tiroran community forest on a science trip, learning about trees and minibeasts.  Did they have a good time?  The pictures speak for themselves!

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Fishnish Hide has makeover

The Fishnish hide, kindly donated to the community by Laing’O’ Rouke (the company that put in the new water pipe to Craignure), has had a make over. Forestry Commission Scotland provided the information panels and the totem pole is the old sea eagle nest tree from Loch Frisa, a totem pole in every sense apart from not having a raven, but then it does have a midgie!!!

As you can see it is looking truely smart.Next to be replaced will be the drop down windows, which are to be replaced with something more user friendly.

Springing into action at Calgary

Sunday 10th of April saw a hearty crew of 21 turned up to  Calgary Bay to help with our bi-annual beach clean.

As we worked our way along the beach from the camping area to the  far end , the banter and the chatter could be heard all around. Much thanks must go to those that came out on the day but also very much to those who walk the beach on a regular bases picking up a bag full of rubbish as they go. The predominant find on the beach was pieces of fishing twine  and ropes with plastic bottles coming a close sencond.One key and exciting  find was  what we though was a satellite transmitter from a basking shark. It had contact details on it so hopefully we will find out more in the not so distant future.

A lovely refreshing cup of tea with home-baking and contributions even from  Mr Tunnock, (in the form of tea cakes) were enjoyed by all. It was so warm I even came a way with a bit of a sun tan.

Thank you all again and see you for the next one at the end of June.picnic

Spring holiday events

Hello again from the Ross!  It’s the middle of the school holidays at the moment and last week we were busy with several events.  First of all we had the lovely Aberdeen University Conservation Society helping out with tasks all around the island.  You can see what they got up to on our facebook page: beachcleaning at Aird Fada, path clearance and removing tree tubes in Aros Park, and outwith the ranger service, also helping out John Clare, Forest Officer, with improving wildlife habitats at Tiroran Community Forest.  Thanks for all your hard work!

Catriona Hood has been volunteering with me over the last few months and this week she stepped up her efforts to help plan two children’s holiday events.  For the first one on Wednesday 6th April we also had the help of the very capable Jane Gordon-Chauvet.  Although heavy rain and hail showers prevented us from being outside as much as we would have liked, judging by the time it took to clear up afterwards, a lot of fun was had by all!  The pictures show some of our Art in Nature efforts including games of ‘Nature’s Dominoes’ and ‘The Great Circle’ along with painting stones, making recycled paper and decorating suncatchers.  Thanks for coming along everyone!

Later in the week we tried out our first ranger service event in Tiroran Community Forest. Fifteen intrepid young folk took part in OrienTREEing during which they explored the forest in groups looking for clues attached to particular trees, with the help of a tree ID guide, a cartoon map drawn by Catriona and some pre-programmed GPSs.  They had to complete a number of challenges including discovering micro-worlds with the aid of magnifying glasses, choosing soundtracks or slogans to fit the views they could see, using all their senses to get to know the trees, smelling bog myrtle buds, finding wildlife from birds to tadpoles to a delicate moth chrysalis, exploring out what lives inside dead logs, investigating human impacts on the forest over time, collecting water and sticks to prepare their own hot chocolate.  We just managed to finish before the rain but most people had fun getting wet and muddy all the same!  Thanks to Maureen and Naomi for bringing their group from Oban and to Julie Ward for her help too, also to Celia Compton for driving the community bus.  Think we all know the forest a bit better now.  This was also a taster event for the John Muir Award and its themes of Discover, Explore, Conserve a Wild Place and Share the experience with others, so along the way we heard about John Muir himself and some of his crazy exploits.  If you know any 11-16 year olds who’d like to get involved in similar events during the summer holidays just get in touch with us!