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A busy few months!

This is my first contribution to the Ranger Blog since taking over the post from Robin in the summer – it’s been a busy first few months!

The guided walks have been very popular again this year. The season is slowing down now, with just three walks left before the winter. These final three are the “roaring and rutting” walks, where we’ll go out over the next few weeks to some of the best glens for seeing the spectacular red deer rut.

We had another John Muir Trust work party with us at the start of September. The volunteers were carrying out maintenance on the Hushinish to Cravadale path, and doing a spot of beach cleaning, despite almost getting blown away in a gale whilst they were camping at Hushinish.

The following week was the Harris Mountain Festival. Overall it was a huge success – all of the events were very well attended, and the weather was kind to us for the whole week. The Golden Eagle Walk attracted a record 30 people – fortunately the eagles came out to have a look as well! Aside from the walks, highlights for me were Laurie Campbell’s presentation of his photographs of North Harris, and the Ceilidh on Friday night.

Since the festival, I’ve had to spend a lot more time in the office (getting ready for the winter) – we’re currently developing plans for two new native woodland planting schemes, and I’ve also been working on grant applications to Scottish Natural Heritage and the Esmee Fairburn Foundation for the next three years of funding for the Ranger Service. Funding from these two organisations has paid the bulk of the costs of the Ranger Service for the last three years.

Next week I hope to get out to collect Downy Birch and Rowan seed for propagation over the winter, in preparation for the tree nursery the Trust hopes to set up in the near future. Watch this space!

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