Update from the Reserve – February 2019
Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 22nd February 2019
February – the shortest month of the year, a month of love, and a month of hard work at the Nature Reserve. This month, we focused our efforts on continuing a couple of existing projects: supporting the construction work for the Glencoe to Oban cycle path and controlling the hideously aggressive, invasive, and non-native rhododendron bushes – but there’s more! In this month’s Reserve Update, we show you some of our charitable community work, we bring you a much-needed wildlife update, and we remind you of the many benefits of being a Lord, Laird or Lady. Read on!
Giving Back to the Community
It’s no surprise that care and are dedicated to conservation in Scotland; however, a lot of you may not about the charitable work we do in the community. We support several good causes and organisations in the Highlands and all around Scotland, either through education, involvement or financial support.
On top of all that support, we also give to like-minded organisations, such as the RSPB, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, the Red Squirrel Survival Trust and the Bat Conservation Trust. We also focus a lot of resources on a programme of local work with schools including our Rural Skills Course for the High School. We want to instil a love of nature and outdoor life to the younger generations; for example, instead of Xbox consoles, we have sponsored a fabulous mountain bike (bundled with a helmet and safety kit!) as the prize for several local school’s big annual fundraising events.
Our latest donation was a contribution towards a polytunnel for the Ballachulish Primary School – which was wonderfully received and, in return, we got the lovely card shown in the image above. We are also just putting the finishing touches to our next award, which is to National Youth Orchestras of Scotland who are currently seeking financial support for their 40th-anniversary tour to Stirling, Dundee and Orkney this summer! We are always delighted to help – you can see some pictures of other charitable giving in this video. When you support the Reserve, you are also supporting the community!
Water Voles Captive Breeding Programme
The 50 cages, nesting boxes and pond have been built for a while and are fully ready to welcome the small rodents. We already use mink floats/rafts in the Reserve to capture the invasive species, as they are thought to be the main reason behind the staggering decline in the water vole population in the UK. Soon, a member of the Highland Titles team will be going down to Kent to learn more about captive breeding, to ensure we are fully educated and prepared to kick-off the programme.
It’s mostly been all quiet on the hedgehog front in both our ‘Home for Life’ enclosure (for injured ones) and out on the Reserve where we have now released 6 back into the wild. The mild weather has interrupted their hibernation so they occasionally pop out for a quick snack but disappear back into their houses pretty quickly after.
In a stressful series of events – probably more for us than the cats – another round of vaccinations was successfully completed. We now have 3 happy, healthy and vaccinated cats, in 3 separate, large enclosures – a rather difficult (and expensive) accomplishment. You can always support our work in this project by adopting a Scottish Wildcat – as adopters, you get regular emails with wildcat updates for the year of your adoption!
Stay in our Lairds Lodge, a wonderful and cosy Shepherd Hut-style cabin in the middle of the Nature Reserve for a total digital detox – no wifi and no running water – except the river outside, but plenty of peace and tranquillity. Our latest review describes Lairds Lodge as an “Amazing setting, and really cute little spot and really well located for local walks. Had a great time and really want to come back in the spring”. Try it yourself!
Whenever you buy a plot, no matter how large, the gift pack always includes a membership to the Highland Titles VIP Club, which grants you fantastic benefits and special offers in local businesses in Glencoe, including free drinks and unique discounts. Did you know, for example, that currently, if you buy one of the two largest plots, you get a 1-year free membership to the Dragon’s Tooth Golf Course?
Clip of the Month: Red Deer
One of the most impressive SpyCam clips this month is this short recording of some stunning Red Deer in the daytime, with two magnificent stags captured. See for yourself – what a majestic creature!