What an incredible year we've had! Gary Innes planted the 10,000th native tree in Glen Nevis, we hosted 11 trainee volunteer rangers, made national news with the Dun Deardail Lego model built by Brick to the Past, welcomed four new staff members, launched our very first fundraising campaign, Sponsor a Tree, and counted 150,000 people walking along the Ben Nevis Mountain Path! We've accomplished a lot in 2018 so naturally we are all enjoying a well deserved break over the holidays.
We wish you and your family and friends a very happy Christmas and New Year and hope you are enjoying the festive season.
2019 is already looking busy with lots of fun things on including some path and conservation work parties, community engagement events, and the Fort William Mountain Festival! Keep a look out for diary dates in the New Year!
Today saw the 10,000th native tree from the Future Forests project planted in Glen Nevis by musician Gary Innes. Being from Fort William originally, we thought it would be appropriate to ask Gary to come join us to mark this monumental milestone.
Gary had his accordion on standby but in true Lochaber style, the weather did now allow for a musical interlude. Despite the rain, he was undeterred and happy to get a bit muddy for the tree planting cause.
Beginning in 2014, the Future Forests project started the process of restoring the native woodland in Glen Nevis. Key to the success of the project was bringing together the local community, enabling them to get hands on in the whole process from propagating trees from to planting them out in the Glen. We still have 3,500 Scots pine saplings left to plant and enough seed for 175,000 trees in storage.
We hope that future work on native forest regeneration in Glen Nevis will be supported by our new fundraising campaign, Sponsor a Tree. Donations to the Sponsor a Tree campaign can go towards tree planting, exclosure fencing, tools, materials and education days for school students and volunteers. As well as growing our future forests, we will continue to work to enhance habitats for native wildlife and maintain paths to provide sustainable access to this unique environment.
We would like to thank the programme funders, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage, and the Woodland Trust and landowners Jahama Highland Estates.
After serving as chair on The Nevis Partnership board for four years, Alex Farquhar stepped down at the AGM on the 14th of November 2018. We thank Alex for his service over the last four years and welcome his continued contribution as a member of the board.
Mike Pescod of the Highland Mountain Culture Association, who has been on the board since July 2014, was elected as the new Chair. “The Nevis Partnership is coming to a very interesting and crucial year with the end of the landscape partnership programme and move into becoming more sustainable in the next few years. We give huge thanks to Alex Farqhuar for leading the Nevis Partnership for the last four years and I am comforted that he and and the rest of the team will still be very much involved in the next phase. In the last few years we have delivered many great projects through working closely with our partners. We will continue to draw on the strength of the partnership to ensure the future of the Nevis area.”
Mike has been involved in helping out with many projects throughout the Nevis Landscape Partnership programme. Over the course of the North Face Survey from 2014 to 2016, Mike managed all the safety components of the project to ensure success. His expertise in mountains, climbing, and safety enabled the geologists and botanists to explore parts of the Ben's North Face which had never been surveyed. Mike has also led a mountain awareness course for all 34 of the Trainee Volunteer Rangers since 2015. A highly respected member of the community, Mike will be a great asset to The Nevis Partnership in his role as chair of the board.
All of the staff, board members and partners are looking forward to working with Mike during the next phase of The Nevis Partnership's work.