Half way through July…

It is hard to believe that we are already half way through July and still I have not really felt the summer rays of sun

I thought I would give you an update of our geo-caching traveling teddies which I mentioned in last months item.

First let me introduce them, there is Ginger teddy set on his way by Ulva Ferry Primary School,(whom wished to travel Europe) then there is Bob from Salen Primary (whom wished to travel the world)and finally but certainly not least Little Big Foot from Lochdon Primary School.

Here are their mug shots as they were when they left Mull.

little big foot

Little Big Foot from Lochdon

Ginger from Ulva Ferry

Ginger from Ulva Ferry

Bob from Salen

 
And so for an update:

Ginger has travelled 565.6 miles so far first leaving Mull and ending up on the M1 at the Woodall Service Station and from there hoping to get a flight from the Leeds and Bradford Airport, he missed a plane and was picked up by the geocachers ‘Heap Patrol’ and has since be traveling around Yorkshire including going to the Kendal Gold Cup and Kendal Summit.

Ginger travels mid July

Ginger catching the ferry

Ginger stows away on the Isle of Mull ferry.

Ginger makes it to England

Ginger at passport control

Ginger travels mid July
Bob has made it to Mt Hermann in Germany and has traveled 637 miles and was in the care of the ‘Dimo Team’ who have left him there for someone else to pick up.

Bob makes it to Germany

And finally there is Little Big Foot who wishes to travel around Scotland and has made it to Colmonell, Ayrshire thanks to Dimo team as well. He has traveled 106.1 miles

Little Big Foot makes it to Colmonell

On his way he has made lots of bear friends.

Little Big Foots friends

We will keep you posted on their travels, alternatively you can follow them yourself at http://www.geocaching-mull.co.uk/travellers/

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Summer holidays and what shall we do?

 

Get out and geo-cache on Mull.

Over the last two years we have had a project involving setting geocaches, producing a leaflet and running a web site, thanks to funding from the Forestry Commission.
There is no better way to encourage youngster to go for a walk, learn a little about their surroundings and go on a world wide treasure hunt. On Mull and Iona there is over a 100 of these caches, the Ranger Services managing 55 of them.

geocaches on Mull
Part of the project was getting the local primary schools to set their own geocaches and also be custodians of them.

So I hear you ask, what does this involve?

The children were all give a plastic lunch box and a camouflage bag and a travel bug, a special tag with a unique number which can be logged on the Geocaching.com web page and then be tracked around the world or what ever the children decided they want it to do.

The children then hid the box near the school, wrote a short description about the site and filled in the rest of the necessary information such as co-ordinates on the Geocaching.com web site.    A geocache hunter would then visits the geocaches having first down loaded the co-ordinates from the Geocaching web site to their phone or GPS. They then go off and hunt out the Cache box, geocaching.com

                  box etclog they have visited it in a wee book, take and swap a trinket with something or equal or more in value or take the tagged bear if they can help it on its travels and when they get home they record their find and actions on the internet.
So for the bit that involves the travel bug the pupils have attached a key ring type object so that the tag does not get lost, The pupils have also given the bears a challenge so meet:

Little Big Foot of Lochdon who is traveling Scotland

little big foot

Ginger Bear of Ulva Ferry who is traveling around Europe

Ginger from Ulva Ferry

and Bob of Salen who is traveling the world

bob
To see where they have got to follow this link. http://www.geocaching-mull.co.uk/travellers/

The children have also asked the people who have transported the bears to the various locations to attach a photo to the Geocaching.com web site from the bear in situ in its new location.

Hopefully the pupils will follow the travels over the summer holidays and also go out and search for some of the geocaches themselves. After the summer I will also visit the other four primary schools and get them to set their bears a traveling.
It is good that the children will also be able to follow the bears from the other primary schools too. Once the bear has gone off on its travels the children can also keep an eye using the website to see who visits their boxes.

So if you are looking for something to do head out and check some of the geocaches, go for a nice walk and learn a bit more about Mull.

For more things to do this summer have a look at the events page for more Ranger Service Summer fun.

Marine Education Day

Yesterday I attended a Marine Education Day in Craignure for the school children of Mull organised by the GRAB trust.

I focused on showing the link between white-tailed eagles and the marine environment – how on earth does plankton and seaweed have an impact on our apex predator? We played a great habitat web game to show this, demonstrating how everything links together one way or another. We saw how important the marine habitat is for lots of species, not just the obvious ones like dolphins and whales! I then mixed things up a bit by adding in an oil spill or plastic litter – we found how one human action can impact species right up the food chain. If we continue to damage our marine environment we could definitely see problems with our white-tailed eagles.

White-tailed eagle workshop

White-tailed eagle workshop

We also had Q&A time and kids always manage to amaze me with their questions and insight plus we had our lifesize eagle silohette and foot for everyone to enjoy. 

We ran four of these workshops throughout the day for the groups of children, Tobermory, Bunessan, Dervaig and Salen schools were all present and so it was a great way to meet some children I hadn’t managed to see this year – they’re already looking forward to a visit next season.

Life size white-tailed eagle

Life size white-tailed eagle

Also this week I led a guided walk for the Windsurf cruise ship whilst it was anchored in Tobermory. We headed off along the coastal path to Aros Park, enjoying the views of Tobermory bay and the waterfalls. We chatted about the history of Aros Park and then headed off to view the standing stones at Baliscate before heading back down toward the main street. Lovely morning and we were lucky with the weather.

Thanks for reading – Rachel 🙂

Erraid & Kids Beach Day

Coming up this week we’ve got two lovely events!

Tuesday 12th – Erraid guided walk with Emily

A walk exploring the natural and cultural history of this tidal island (setting for Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’), stopping off at the seal colony, lighthouse observatory and a beautiful sandy beach. You may wish to linger and explore the many lovely beaches around Knockvologan after the walk.

10.30am-2.30pm, £7.50/£5, meeting at Knockvologan Farm, bring along waterproofs, sturdy walking footwear, lunch and a drink, call  07717581405 to book or for more info!

 

Thursday 14th – Kids Beach Activity Day

Spend the day on the beach. We’ll do lots of activities, including a beach clean up & rock pooling. Take the plastic challenge – how many “one-use” plastic items do you use in a day? Try and count before you come along. Use an ID sheet to find local shoreline creatures. We’ll have a great day whatever the weather and get our feet wet!

10am-2pm, £7.50/£5, meeting Calgary Bay car park, wear suitable, weather appropriate clothing, good footwear and bring along lunch and a drink. Booking not required, but helpful. You can call Rachel on 07540792650 for more info.

 

Next week… 21st August – Froglife comes to Mull

Dragons on the move – a unique opportunity to learn more about pond life from wildlife charity Froglife! Join the Ranger Service and Froglife to study and learn about the local pond life in the area with:

– fun pond dipping sessions

– activites

– craft sessions

– use of lab facilities to study what you find

– join a guided walk to look for reptiles in the area

1-3pm, £5/£3 at Corry Meadows, Fisnish (PA65 6BA), please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, for more info please contact Jan on 01680 300640 or 07765898600

 

We had a great time over the last two weeks with Bunessan Show and Salen Show, both great days! The was windy and then very muddy respectively for each, I think my van only just made it out of the field. Things are just about back to normal with Scottish children back to school this week already. We will be at Tobermory Lifeboat Day this weekend though (Sunday 17th), so come and support our much appreciated emergency service!

Moth madness

What a week!

We’re definitely lucky to be in the ranger service with weather like this, who wouldn’t want to work outside? Unfortunately the guided walk on Ulva earlier this week didn’t go ahead but we’ve still been busy! 

We’re preparing for the Uisken Beach Games which is this Sunday from 2pm, come along to see us there. We’ve got lots of fun activities for kids to enjoy and to keep them busy from fishing and beach bingo, to the “rotten game” and wee beach critters to explore. The weather is forecast to stay pretty good too so pop down and say hello.

It’s also not long till both Bunessan and Salen shows, again with lots of fun outdoor activities for the children. Rachel, our eagle ranger will be there too with eagle activities, and interesting things for adults to have a look at too.

Moth Madness  

Next Monday morning we’re running an interesting event, join Rachel and Sian Scott for a morning of moth madness. We’ll run a moth trap over night to catch lots of lovely moths, we can then investigate, ID and enjoy the contents in the morning whilst enjoying a brew too. We have about 500 moths in Scotland, most of which you’ve probably never seen before, some are absolutely stunning. Come along to Craignure Village Hall at 10am – 12pm on Monday morning.

Everyone welcome and hot drinks are on hand.

£5 per adult

£3 per child

(Costs go towards the use of the hall and to the ranger service)

Call 07540792650 for more info!

Moth Trapping