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Update from the Reserve – June 2021

Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 30th June 2021

Half a year has officially passed, and we have eagerly welcomed summer! As the temperature rises (and even the rain gets warmer), the Nature Reserve gets brighter and livelier – from the tiny yet persistent midges to the wonderful Lairds, Lords, and Ladies from all over the world some of whom are finally allowed to visit their Scottish plots. Full of wildlife and community news, continue reading to find out what else is new this month!

Engaging our Future Generation

Strath of Appin Primary School students at the nature reserve

We pride ourselves on being extremely involved with our local community, often contributing to other conservation or charitable causes whenever possible. One of the ways we like to give back to the community is to host school visits in the Reserve, which we try to make as fun as educational as possible. The goal of these tours is to help youngsters get involved in conservation, better understand the countryside, and to foster an interest in the environment and its wildlife.

This month we welcomed groups from pre-school, Primary 1, 2, and 3 and finally Primary 4,5,6 and 7 from Strath of Appin Primary School. The feedback from the tours was all positive – and we must say the students themselves were incredibly well-behaved and engaged. It bodes well for our future when the wee ones are so enthusiastic!

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Rewarding Rescue & Release

Tawny Owl at an owl box

After the rehabilitation and release of our 4 rescue tawny owls last year, we promptly installed 6 new owl boxes in case they ever came back to visit. We are absolutely delighted to announce that not only are they back for a visit, but a pair is actually nesting successfully.

The tawny owl is the size of a woodpigeon, with a distinctive rounded body and head with a ring of dark feathers around its face surrounding the dark eyes. Birds are mainly residents with established pairs, and they don’t tend to leave their territories – which is great news for us and hopefully means we’ll be seeing a lot more from them!

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The Gathering is back!

Lairds, Lords and Ladies at the last Gathering
After having to regretfully cancel the 2020 and 2021 Gatherings due to the pandemic, we are so happy to announce that the Gathering 2022 is going ahead, and we can’t wait to see as many of our Lairds, Lords and Ladies as possible! The Gathering will take place on May 10th to 12th at the Isles of Glencoe Hotel, in Glencoe, and it’ll be 3 days full of fun and activities. Tickets do sell fast, so if you want to make sure you join us on this wonderful experience, be quick to snag yours!

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And visitors are also back!

Nature Reserve Visitor Board
We are so happy to announce that our Reserve visits have also started to gain some momentum. It’s always such a great experience to show our Lairds, Lords and Ladies to their plots, show them around the Reserve and tell them about all of the conservation projects that their support has enabled. Whilst at the moment it is still mostly Lairds, Lords and Ladies from the UK – from Glasgow to Essex – we have also welcomed a handful of international visitors. We can’t wait to welcome you too!

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Clip of the Month: Guaranteed to make you itch

If you were wondering if the midges had returned yet, this video should answer your question. Not only are they back, but in huge numbers when the conditions are right. Strong wind or warm sunshine, and you’re fine! But damp and still conditions, and it’s midge time!


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Written by: Stewart Borland


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