Update From The Reserve – January 2018
Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 15th January 2018
The turn of a new year is always poised for a fresh start. This is the perfect time to start clearing the land from our infected rhododendron plants. It is also the ideal opportunity for new adventures, from the geocaches we’ve installed to our new habitat box map – all waiting to be discovered.
You may be familiar with the global phenomenon geocaching. Often described as the world’s largest treasure hunt, this GPS-based adventure has reached the reserve. We recently installed new geocaches at Duror and Mountainview, bringing our cache total to four. Three are puzzle caches, one is very well hidden – but all contain a log book and ‘treasure’.
Go on your own GPS treasure hunt, tracking the geocaches on the reserve, finding geocaches closer to home or creating your own geocache using our trackable coins. These beautiful medallions contain a tracking code, enabling them to be tracked around the world as they move from cache to cache. You can even find out where all the Highland Titles trackable coins are right now, in real time!
Name The Buzzard
You might remember that last month we asked for your assistance in naming our new resident buzzard. We’ve been overwhelmed with close to 1000 suggestions, and couldn’t be more grateful! We’ve given each name careful consideration and have narrowed down the possibilities to just 10. Now we need your help to choose! The overall winner will be announced in next month’s newsletter.
Putting Conservation On The Map
Did you know that when you sponsor a habitat box with Highland Titles you’ll receive its precise coordinates and unique identity number? This means that when you visit the reserve, you can find the exact home you’ve built. Can’t make it to Scotland? Type in your coordinates to Google Maps for a proper bird’s-eye view!
Using GPS and an app called ViewRanger, we’ve collected the coordinates from all of our habitat boxes and pulled together an interactive map to show what you’ve built and where. Thank you for your support!
Save Our Trees
Work has begun to remove rhododendron plants infected with Ramoren Disease or ‘Sudden Oak Death’ from the reserve. This highly infectious fungus is endangering the lives of thousands of our young larch trees and wonderful old oaks. 2 weeks’ worth of rhododendron removal is currently ongoing. Infected plants are being felled and burned. The remaining stumps are treated and will be checked several months later to ensure the measures are proving effective.
Clip Of The Month: Otters
We recently spotted a trail at the side of Loch Keil. In amongst the bushes, we uncovered a series of round paw prints and droppings (or ‘spraints’), rich in fish bones and crab shell. After setting up a camera, we couldn’t believe our luck when we captured three short otter clips.
Sleek and secretive, the otter is a mammal that demands both luck and good judgement to see. Their cheeky characters are commonplace around Scotland’s coastline. However, it is unusual to discover them so much further inland, as we have here. We hope that leaving mackerel in the same spot will earn us even better clips – an otterly fabulous idea we think you’ll agree!
Happy New Year From Highland Titles
Who better to welcome the new year than our remarkable first-footers – the otters! The team at Highland Titles Nature Reserve wishes you a peaceful and a prosperous new year.