Christmas marks the end of the Nevis Landscape Partnership’s Seasonal Ranger Service (try saying that one quickly after an eggnog or two!). We’re all really sad to be saying goodbye-for-now to our favourite Glen, but that hasn’t slowed down our work. In fact, this last month has been just as busy as the high summer season was!
The main focus of December has been School visits. Working in partnership with The Outward Bound Trust, who are currently supporting several local schools, we have taken six classes from Banavie and Lundavra Primary schools out into the wild for days of discovering, exploring and conserving wild places. It’s been fantastic to see the young people getting to know their local environment a bit, and we’ve been blown away by their enthusiasm to be out! Their sense of wonder at the natural world has really reminded us why we do what we do. We hope future Ranger services are able to continue this kind of work, as raising the next generation with a healthy understanding of ‘Leave no Trace’ is a great way to ensure our wild places stay wild.
In other news, the team have been busy supporting The Woodland Trust at Loch Arkaig. We have spent a few days out in the woods setting out camera traps as part of a ‘Mammal Density Survey’ to estimate how many Feral Pigs (sometimes called Wild Boar) are roaming the forests and hills up there. It’s been great to help out a fellow conservation charity. This kind of partnering is important, as it allows organisations to share their knowledge and expertise.
We have also been tying up loose ends, and have spent a bit of time potting out some of the baby trees, ready to go in the ground next year. We’ve identified a spot where Water Voles are feeding (to be surveyed in the spring) and cleared up some invasive plants. Final checks of the paths have been done, and the last litter picked (I am sure there will be plenty more of this next season though…). We have also put together an ‘End of Season Report’ which has highlighted just how much work there is to be done in the Nevis area, and just how important Rangers are. We hope that the powers-that-be will wonder how they ever managed without us, and will agree to continue funding the service next season.
That’s us going quiet now. We’ve had a great season, and really value the support you’ve given us by liking and sharing our posts. Hopefully we (or another lucky team) will be back soon, but in the meantime, why not volunteer a few hours with the Friends of Nevis to help keep on top of things? You might even be lucky enough to bump into one of us at a work party, as we’ve every intention of keeping in touch.