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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Sandwood Bay path appeal

The John Muir Trust is appealing for funds to repair the path leading to the iconic Sandwood Bay, one of Britain’s most remote beaches. The Trust, which owns and protects the bay, in northwest Sutherland, is aiming to repair the path using local materials and labour. Parts of the four mile footpath are suffering from excessive erosion, which is starting to cause damage to the surrounding peatland. The repairs will cost £27,000. John Hutchison, chairman of the John Muir Trust said, “Sandwood is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The beauty of the area means it is

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Posted in Nature

15% produce own midge repellant

A new study has revealed that a lucky 15% of the population produces their own midge repellant. Researchers from Aberdeen University and Rothamsted Research studying the feeding habits of the Scottish biting midge found that those were spared bites produced a specific mixture of two chemicals, geranylacetone and methylheptenone. The researchers hope that the results will eventually lead to the developement of a new repellant based on these chemicals. The research was conducted during peak midge season and involved over 300 contestants and spectators at the Loch Ness Duathlon. It also found that tall men and larger women with a

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Posted in News

Three Scottish eagles poisoned last year

Two golden eagles and a sea eagle were among 28 illegally poisoned Scottish birds of prey last year. A report published by RSPB Scotland indicates that human killing continues to have a serious impact on the populations of some of the country’s most vulnerable species. The report states that in 2009, 21 buzzards, 4 red kites, 2 golden eagles and 1 white-tailed eagle, the latter gifted to Scotland from Norway as part of a reintroduction programme, were among the victims in 46 poisoning cases confirmed by Scottish Government testing. Illegal killings, through shooting, nest destruction or the use of spring

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Posted in Nature

Scottish windfarms not providing good return

The John Muir Trust (JMT) has released new figures which show that the energy output of the country’s wind developments has been much less than expected. Output from wind turbines is generally stated to be 30 per cent. But figures provided by analyst Stuart Young, who runs Caithness Wind Information Forum which campaigns against the spread of windfarms in that area, show that for 80 per cent of the time between February and June 2010 Scotland’s turbines were operating at less than this. For almost a third of that time they were producing virtually no energy, operating at less than

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Posted in Nature

Flanders Moss tower gets bird seal of approval

The viewing tower at Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve had some special visitors this spring, with a pair of redstarts nesting on one of the tower’s supports. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) staff was delighted to see the redstarts, which are listed as an amber species with unfavourable conservation status in Europe, where they are declining. This brightly coloured, member of the thrush family makes a long journey from Africa each spring, usually seeking out holes in trees for nesting, but will use many different structures. In this case, the redstarts arrived back to the Moss to find what they thought

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Posted in Nature

Loch Lomond celebrates National Parks Week

Next week is National Parks Week and some of the Parks are celebrating with special events, many of which are free. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park kicks off the week with a special exhibition on John Muir, the Scot responsible for inspiring the national park movement in America. Starting on Monday 26 July and running until Sunday 1 August, the Park will host a free exhibition on the fascinating life and work of John Muir including stunning photographs of Yosemite National Park. The exhibition will be held in the National Park Centre in Balmaha and will be open

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Posted in News

Loch Lomond water bus sets sail

A week on Monday sees the launch of Loch Lomond’s new summer water bus service. The service will run from Monday 26 July for 6 weeks and will travel between Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch Park, Cameron House and Balmaha giving plenty of time for short walks in each location. At Balmaha it is possible to link up with the summer boat service to Luss and combination tickets are available. The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park says, “Going by boat gives a new perspective to the landscape and is a gentler way of getting around.” The service will run

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Posted in Access issues

Cononish Gold Mine battle likely

The application to re-open and extend Scotland’s only gold mine looks set to become the latest large-scale planning battle affecting the landscape and environment. Last week the application was described by Fiona Logan, chief executive of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, as, “our Beauly-Denny in terms of controversy”. On the one side conservations are raising serious concerns about wildlife, the affect on water quality and salmon, and landscape issues, and on the other the local community council and business development organisations are keen to see jobs created. The application by Scotgold is to re-open the mine

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Posted in Nature

Giant black cat warning to walkers

Police are advising walkers to report any sightings of large cats in the woods near Kincraig after a member of the public contacted the station in Aviemore. A member of the public reported to Police that they had seen what they believed was a very large, black cat in the woods at Inshriach, near Kincraig at around 11.15am on Tuesday (13 July) morning. The person who reported the sighting was certain the animal was a cat and was the size of a German shepherd dog. The sighting is unconfirmed but the description does not appear to match that of the

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Posted in News

First Osprey chicks fly the nest

Nature’s answer to Supermum, a 24-year-old osprey famed as the oldest breeding bird of its kind ever to be recorded in the UK, has exceeded the expectations of experts by surviving this year’s breeding season to see that her latest chicks successfully take their first flight from the nest. Taking to the skies on 11th July at 9:09am, the most recent chick to fledge from the osprey nest at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve and Visitor Centre is the 47th chick of the famed female bird. With ospreys living an average of eight years and

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Posted in Nature


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