Update from the Reserve – December 2018
Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 30th December 2018
Last Updated on
And just like that, another exciting year has passed – brimming with intriguing, enthusiastic, and inspiring milestones at the Nature Reserve. These were only possible given your overwhelming loyalty and support, to which we are incredibly grateful. In this Reserve Update, we bring you some news, as always, but we are also giving you the chance to relive the most exciting moments of the year – we would love to hear from you, so don’t forget to vote on your Favourite Moment of 2018!
One cat, two cats, … three cats?
As the saying goes, “the best things in life come in threes”, and that is certainly the case with our Scottish Wildcat rescues. Our first rescues were found in July, and they have been happily living under our protection in our rehabilitation centre ever since – and now, they have a new friend.
Earlier in the month, an Aberdeenshire farmer’s investigation on the loss of several chickens led him to a Scottish wildcat kitten. With no sign of a mother, the kitten was rescued by our partners at Wildcat Haven, checked thoroughly by a vet and brought to our rescue centre. We can attest that the female kitten is gorgeous, eating very well, and recuperating fast.
The 3 cats now under our care represent almost 10% of the current worst-case population estimate, and we are more motivated than ever to rewild and help this magnificent species. We are frantically rushing to build another large enclosure similar in size to the original acre site, so we can split the brother and sister as soon as possible, while the new arrival has moved from her quarantine enclosure to a nice large one for the Winter. As always, you can also support by adopting a Scottish wildcat, helping us to protect this iconic Scottish species!
When in doubt, pedal it out!
About 6 or 7 years ago, Highland Titles granted permission for the Glencoe to Oban cycle path to cross the Nature Reserve. Despite all the years of bureaucracy, while we waited for a decision, the rest of the route has been completed, and now, at last, construction work has finally started on the Reserve section! Unfortunately, this meant a few trees – some native and some Sitka Spruce (not too sad about the loss of these) – had to be cut down to make space for the cycle path. But don’t worry – we are reusing all the branches and wood chips, and will replant the area as soon as the work has finished.
Luxury accommodation… for bugs!
Wondering what we have been doing with all the branches and wood chips resulting from the cycle path construction? We have been refreshing our existing bug hotels by adding a nice Winter layer of wood chippings to keep our guests extra warm. Once construction has stopped, we will use the remaining wood to build brand new (luxurious!) bug hotels.
Meet your neighbours
There are still a few tickets left for the Gathering 2019, our three-day event packed with entertainment and interesting activities, including meals and accommodation. It is the perfect opportunity to meet the Highland Titles team, find more about all our conservation projects, and get to know all the other Lords, Ladies and Lairds!
VOTE: Favourite Moment of 2018
This month, we are also celebrating our 400th Trip Advisor review, making us one of the most popular attractions in the Scottish Highlands and the most popular Nature Reserve in Scotland, with the majority of reviewers describing their experience as excellent (5 stars). Again, this wouldn’t be possible without your support, so a big thank you for your continuous dedication!
Onto a quick snapshot of last year: from incredible wildlife to fantastic community involvement, every month has a moment or milestone worth celebrating. We want to hear from you – what was your favourite moment in 2018? Let us know your vote by filling in the form below.
January – Geocaches installed at Duror and Mountainview
February – Our buzzard is named Braveheart by the Community
March – 350th TripAdvisor Review
April – Water voles cages and nesting boxes installed
May – The Ronnies great escape
June – Shepherd Hut Cabin ready to welcome guests
July – Scottish Wildcat kittens rescued
August – Record number of people visiting their plots and getting a Reserve tour
September – Lochan gets restocked with trout and osprey platform is built
October – Red Deer rutting and roaring
November – First residents to the Hedgehog Sanctuary
December – Third wildcat kitten rescued AND 400th Trip Advisor Review
Happy New Year from Highland Titles
Your generosity and support have been key to the success of Highland Titles this year and we are looking forward to continuing sharing all our milestones and accomplishments with you next year. Happy Hogmanay and happy New Year – “May ye aye be jist as happy / As we wish ye aye tae be”!