The last guided walk of the season was held at the start of the month – and what a great walk to finish on! It was the third of the “Roaring and Rutting” walks, this time out to Glen Langadale from Boglass. The glen was full of stags and groups of hinds, and we got to see a bit of action from younger stags challenging the “master” stag for control of his harem. The group also had some decent sightings of golden eagles, and a fantastic look at a mountain hare, almost fully moulted for the winter. Over the coming weeks I will be writing the programme for next year, so if anyone has any suggestions of walks you’d like to see included, feel free to get in touch – email me at email@example.com.
I’ve also started getting involved in the Eco-Group at Sir E Scott School – a small group of students who meet weekly to discuss everything “green” – from recycling and renewables to tree planting and vegetable growing – and then finding ways to spread their messages to the rest of the school. This week we had an interesting debate on food ethics.
Since the last walk, there has been a fair bit more office-based work going on, which is sometimes no bad thing considering the weather! I have been working on writing proposals for SRDP grant funding for two new native woodland planting projects in Glen Meavaig and Glen Scaladale. If successful , these two projects will create over 20ha (50 acres) of new woodland on Harris. We’ll be mimicking the very successful planting model used at the Ardvourlie woodland, which is now over 10 years old – using the topography to provide shelter from the wind – so all the trees will be nestled in behind hillocks and in dips and gulleys. Go back in time about 5000 years and large areas on Lewis and Harris will have looked similar to this.
On the subject of woodland, we have begun offering informal advice and assistance to crofters looking to plant trees on their land – advice including site selection, species choice, protection, management and grant funding, and assistance in mapping. We’re very supportive of anybody and everybody planting trees – so if you’re at all interested, please pop in for a chat.
Matt Watts, North Harris Ranger, 22 November 2012