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Update From the Reserve – August 2022

Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 31st August 2022, last updated: 1st September 2022

I could have sworn summer had just begun, but suddenly it is the last day of August. Time flies when you are trying to keep up with all the twists and turns nature throws at you. Read our latest update to find out what has been keeping us on our toes this month.

 

Phytophthora Ramorum

larch trees on the reserve

This month we had the unfortunate discovery that some of our Larch trees on the Reserve are infected with Phytophthora ramorum. Phytophthora ramorum is a highly destructive, algae-like organism called a water mould. It causes extensive damage and death to more than 150 plant species, with Larch trees being particularly susceptible. To keep this disease under control, The Scottish Forestry conducted helicopter surveillance and ground surveys to monitor the spread across Scotland and this time they found some on the Highland Titles Reserve.
Sadly, there is no way to treat the disease and the only way to prevent the spread is to fell the infected trees and the surrounding area. In our case, this looks like we will have to clear an area of around 200 metres from the infected larch trees. We are now waiting for the Forestry Commission to give us the next steps but we will be sure to keep you updated.

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A Closer Look at the Highland Titles Reserve

pictures of the reserve

In the last update, we asked you all which reserve you wanted to learn a little more about. The poll revealed a clear winner: The Highland Titles Reserve in Glencoe. This reserve is very much our flagship reserve. It was purchased in 2007 and since then has become home to thousands of plots owned by our Lords and Ladies. This reserve is set amongst some of the most breathtaking Scottish Landscapes (not that we are biassed) and has been a great place to base many of our conservation and rehabilitation projects including the Hedgehog Hospital and Forever Home, and the wildcat enclosure.

This reserve is the most accessible for our Lords and Ladies to visit as we have the visitor centre and opportunities for you to book tours to see and hear firsthand about past, present and future projects.

 

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Dancing on the Ceiling

pigs standing on the bug hotel

Just when you think they can’t get up to any more mischief, Iona & Skye are trying to reduce the size of the biggest bug Hotel in the world… possibly being paid by the previous winners? The Bug Hotel is in their current enclosure and despite removing the ramps up to the roof, the pair continue to repurpose it as their personal jungle gym. Luckily the Bug Hotel was made with strong foundations so no harm has been done (so far). 

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Flying High


One of our most spectacular visitors though sadly seen much less often after the cycle path construction – the majestic Osprey.

So rare, so it always feels like such an honour to have them grace our reserve though!

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Clip of the Month: Stand Up Tall

hope the wildcat

This video is one of our favourite compilations of Hope. Have a watch to see her showing off her meerkat stance, and then secretly stalking me around the enclosure (or so she thought).

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Written by: Stewart Borland


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