Update from the Reserve – May 2019
Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 29th May 2019
April showers really did bring May flowers! Colour is everywhere, beautiful flowers have bloomed and wildlife is happy and busy. On top of welcoming Spring and the good weather, we have also welcomed adorable goslings and ducklings, all the Lords, Ladies and Lairds to the Reserve for our annual Gathering, and a new member to the Highland Titles team. Continue reading to find out more!
Welcome Our Adorable Goslings AND Ducklings!
As a lot of you may know, a pair of Canada Geese have been visiting our beautiful Reserve for 3 consecutive years. Last month nesting began and we can now confirm that 7 adorable wee goslings have been successfully born on the reserve! It’s such an honour to welcome these amazing animals to the Reserve every year and it is wonderful to know that they feel comfortable and safe enough to choose to nest here.
And as if the goslings weren’t cute enough, our Mallard family have also grown! You have to be fast to catch them before they hide in the long grass along the banks, but we were able to spot 5 ducklings. The Lochan is brimming with new life – and we couldn’t be happier.
Polytunnel & Tree Nursery
One of our ongoing projects is the tree nursery. By planting our homegrown trees in a polytunnel, not only do we save money, but we also eliminate the risk of any pests or diseases being brought in, which can hide in the soil. Along with our team, the Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) students from local schools also help with plant care.
This month, another batch of trees were ready to be planted including some beautiful Scots Pines. We have therefore focused the planting around the new cycle path to repair some of the areas that were looking a bit naked. You can also get involved in this project by sponsoring or dedicating a tree. We will plant a native Scottish species in your name! Did you know that planting just 10 trees offsets the typical family’s carbon footprint for an entire year?
Everyone Loved The Gathering!
And just like that, another Gathering has passed! Between May 14 and 16, we invited over 100 Lairds, Lords, and Ladies from all over the world to meet us in Glencoe and find out all about our project. Day 1 was all about learning about Highland Titles and the work we do at the Reserve (but there was still time for an unbelievable magic show). In Day 2, we took everyone on a Reserve Tour, followed by whisky tasting and some Scottish country dancing. And finally, Day 3 was activities day – rib rides around Loch Leven, laser clay shooting, segways, and more! Watch the video below for a flavour of the Gathering 2019.
A New Team Member
This month we had additional help with our beehives from Katherine! Katherine is a recent Zoology graduate from the University of Cambridge, where her studies focused on ecology and conservation. She moved to the West Highlands to gain more practical fieldwork experience, and she has spent the past few months helping our Wildcat work. She has now joined us at the Reserve, as the pressure (and workload) increases as we prepare for the wildcats release. She’ll be an incredibly valuable resource and a great member of the team – so welcome her aboard!
Clip of the Month: Otters
On May 29th, we celebrated World Otter Day, so we had to feature this adorable animal in our clip of the month! Did you know that otters eat between 15% and 25% of their body weight in food every day? That means they can get through 5 pounds of fish a day – no wonder we had to restock the Lochan!