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Update from the Reserve – March 2020

Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 31st March 2020

Amidst such challenging times, we hope our Community is staying safe, looking after yourselves and others around you. Both of our Reserves are still open, and the health and safety of our visitors, staff and animals are of the utmost importance so we are following government and WHO guidelines to reduce the risk of infection, as much as we can. We have also started to support our local area in protecting the most vulnerable residents via a local community project. Along with other local organisations and businesses, our support will allow the Appin Community Development Trust to help with essential shopping, collecting and delivering prescriptions, and regular phone calls to check those in isolation. Now, onto this month’s news!


A Natural Way To Fight The Wet Weather

Growing Willow Trees
Since we haven’t had a completely dry 24 hours since before Christmas, the land is definitely starting to feel the effects of this hideously wet weather. So this month, efforts have been focused on drainage work, especially in the Forever Home for Hedgehogs, which was starting to look particularly wet.

Despite the immediate fix, we are already thinking long-term! Now, the plan in trying to dry up the enclosure is to plant some willow trees. They like the soil nice and damp, so hopefully, in years to come, they will help soak up the moisture. And we’re sure our little spiky friends won’t mind the extra greenery!



First Hive Check of The Year

Meik from Webster Honey doing the first hive check of the year
This month, we have also officially welcomed Spring, and while it was still a bit cold, it was time for the first hive check of the year with Meik, from Webster Honey. Because of the low temperatures, we were moving as fast as possible to minimise the time the hive was actually open.

Overall, the hives looked pretty good, although two are quite small and we have unfortunately lost two over the long, cold, winter months. Let’s hope for some sunshine soon to give the smaller two a bit of a boost!



Cycle Path Update

Completed Cycle Path
Some of you may remember the construction work that has been ongoing on the Reserve – well, we are happy to announce it is finally done! On reflection, the disruption was absolutely worth it, and we now have a beautiful all abilities footpath, safe for cyclists and pedestrians alike. And while we lost a lot of lovely mature trees, with the help of the Rural Skills students we must have planted at least 100 new trees. Looking forward to the green leaves and new growth!



All Ready For Your Visits

Brashing Done in the Nature Reserve
As plots are gradually sold across the Reserve, one of our tasks is to keep ahead of them and ensure all the brashing is done so everyone can access their very own plot. This means cutting off all the lower branches. And although everything is pretty dead underneath, it’s nice to see the trees reach an age where there are cones on the tops – at least there is something for a passing squirrel and seed-eating bird!



Clip of the Month: A Throwback to the Young‘Uns

We get so many requests for photos and videos of the Scottish Wildcats when they were younger, so we thought it was time to oblige. Here are some of the best moments of the kittens growing up, including the very first meerkat impersonation and rare footage of them swimming!


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Written by: Stewart Borland

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