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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Glentress Peel open for business

Forestry Commission Scotland’s new visitor centre in Glentress Forest, near Peebles, is now fully open for business. The new state-of-the-art development, known as Glentress Peel, will cater for the 300,000 plus mountain bikers and walkers that flock to the forest every year, making it the top tourist attraction in the Borders. The popular Hub cafe and bike hire shop, which lost out in the tendering process to run the new cafe, will remain open until the end of the year. Built on fully sustainable principles and using timber from the forest, the new Peel centre offers modern facilities including a

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Posted in News

First survey at Bat Reserve

At the same moment it was announced that some of the next Batman movie will be filmed in the Highlands, a full survey of bats and their habitats at Scotland’s only bat reserve is underway. The survey, which started on Friday 24 June and runs until Friday I July, is the first to take place at the National Trust for Scotland’s Threave estate in Dumfries and Galloway since it became the nation’s first ever dedicated bat reserve last summer. A group of Thistle Campers (working holidaymakers) are onsite at Threave this week, assisting with the work. Opened with generous support

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Posted in Nature

Mountain YouTube channel hits the spot

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) YouTube Channel reached the 100,000 downloads mark this week. The MCofS channel on YouTube is a great place to find useful information, especially on issues relating to mountain safety. Three video clips in particular have achieved a phenomenal number of downloads. These are: “Crevasse rescue” (39,000), “Roping up for glaciers” (30,000) and “Ice axe self arrest” (23,700). However, the MCofS channel doesn’t just contain videos about winter safety. Videos about aspects of year-round mountain safety include “Water hazards in the mountains”, “When lightning strikes” and “Ticks”. MCofS Mountaineering Development Officer, Kevin Howett, said: “Our

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Posted in Access issues, News

New sea eagles fly into Scotland

16 baby sea eagles flew into Edinburgh Airport last week from Norway and have been sent to a secret location in Fife over the weekend as part of the re-introduction programme in east Scotland. The East Scotland project is being run jointly by RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland. Last year, 19 white-tailed sea eagles were released into the wild in Fife. The latest batch of arrivals were welcomed at Edinburgh Airport by Norwegian Consul Mona Rohne and Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson. Mr Stevenson said: “The reintroduction project has been a long haul but the care and

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Posted in Nature

Ramblers launch wild land campaign

The Convener of Ramblers Scotland, Dennis Canavan, has called for fundamental changes to the public subsidies that support windfarm development in Scotland. Following a Ramblers advertisement in the Guardian newspaper this week Canavan has spelt out the need for a concerted effort by the tourist industry to demand a halt on large scale onshore windfarm developments. Dennis Canavan said: “We are working with the tourist industry to help visitors enjoy and appreciate our wild places. But our message carries a serious warning: Enjoy the stunning landscapes of Scotland now, before a massive expansion in wind turbines and bulldozed access roads

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Posted in Access issues, Nature, News

Loch Lomond dragon spotting day

Nature detectives are invited to try and spot dragonflies as well as other wildlife, with a bit of expert help, on a guided walk searching for wildlife clues at Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve on Sunday 3 July. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) reserve staff will help people on the walk spot a variety of birds, dragonflies and other insects and plants, as well as touching on the cultural history of the Endrick Mouth area. Tim Jacobs, SNH’s Loch Lomond reserve manager, said: “We hope that people will join us for this fun look at the reserve. This is an opportunity

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Posted in Nature

New Loch Lomond campsite open

A new, semi-formal, campsite at Sallochy Bay, on the banks of Loch Lomond is now open. The campsite has been set up to provide additional camping facilities following the ban on wild camping on this stretch of east Loch Lomondside. The new site is run by Forestry Commission Scotland and has basic facilities offering a “wilder” camping experience. The new site is on the West Highland Way between Balmaha and Rowardennan. There are 20 pitches available (only one tent is permitted per pitch) with a maximum tent size of six persons. There iare toilets and overnight parking and costs £5

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Posted in News

Rare vagrant bat found on Arran

A National Trust for Scotland’s Brodick Country Park ranger has been involved in identifying and looking after a rare vagrant parti-coloured bat that was found grounded on the Isle of Arran earlier this year. Ranger Corinna Goeckeritz received a phone call from a family in Kildonan, a few months back. Nine-year old Victoria Mowatt, who is a member of the local National Trust for Scotland Young Naturalists’ Club and attends Whiting Bay Primary School, found that bat on the ground. Victoria looked closely and established the bat was still alive, although obviously in trouble. With the help of her family,

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Posted in Nature

New family boosts Canna’s population

Conservation charity, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has confirmed that a family of four take up residence on the island of Canna from Friday 24 June. The Spence family, who currently live in Laggan in Inverness-shire, will move into MacIssacs cottage which has recently been renovated thanks to support from generous donors keen to support the Trust’s work on the Inner Hebridean island. Alison, Duncan and their children, two and a half year old Savourna and 5 month old Fergus and their two collies will play an important role in the community when they move to the island this

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Posted in Uncategorized

Peatland climate change threat

An urgent international call for action on peatland protection and restoration has been made following the release of findings at a landmark peatlands conference. Delegates heard that a loss of only 5% of the carbon stored in UK peatlands would equate to the total annual UK greenhouse gas emissions. The conference, Investing in Peatlands: Delivering Multiple Benefits, has been organised by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) UK Peatland Programme in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Environment Protection Agency. The event has drawn together a wide range of scientists, experts and land managers from across

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Posted in Nature


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