,

A Beautiful Day for a Beach Clean!

A big thank you to those that turned out for our Badentarbert Beach clean on the 20th with High Life Highland Ranger Jenny. We couldn’t of asked for a better day! The sun was shining, and we had beautiful views across to Tanera Mor. Achiltiebuie Primary School even joined us in the morning and picked 2 bags full of rubbish to start off the beach clean and learnt about marine waste and its consequences. This was a different challenge for us as the beach was mostly tiny bits of rope, string and plastic amongst the washed in kelp and seaweed. A lot of hard work and patience was needed to remove this type of litter. One day is not enough to finish the beach but we made a good start and removed 154kg of marine litter. Thank you again for coming along and helping as well as a big thank you to those who clean up the beaches when they visit.

,

Scottish Wildlife Trust Staff Conference 2019

This month we went to join colleagues at the Scottish Wildlife Trust Staff conference in Seamill, Ayrshire. It was a great two days where we got to catch up with other Living Landscape teams, head office staff and learn about other projects going on at the Trust. On day 1 Fiona and Laura held a workshop, a chance to slow down and show us your favourite wild space and experiment with artist supplies. Alongside the CALL workshop other colleagues had organised a range of other activities, allowing us to be a little childlike and learn tips and skills to take back to Coigach and Assynt. I myself joined the Wild Ways Well Team from Cumbernauld Living Landscape, enjoying a walk in nature and learning how to experience woodland and beaches in a more sensory way than just our eyes. For more information on Cumbernauld Living Landscape click here. Day 1 finished off with a quiz. Not to say we are competitive, but we came second! A great quiz set up by Cumbernauld and Trust Staff where each category was related

,

Raffin: Part Three

August’s monthly volunteer day took place last week, a joint effort with the John Muir Trust Volunteers. The aim: to tackle the next bay south from Raffin. Unfortunately, it was a little walk in from an available car parking place, but this didn’t deter the JMTers, and off they went to search for the next lot of marine waste to take off the beach. The weather was damp to say the least, but we were all wrapped up in waterproofs and, as I am sure you will agree, they did a stellar effort in retrieving the washed in rubbish. As always, alongside collecting the litter we are looking out for washed in birds or sea creatures but also the mermaid’s purses! Last time we found 4 in total, 2 large Flapper Skate cases and 2 Catfish cases. This time 4 again but 3 Flapper Skate cases and 1 Catfish. Recordings of these get reported to Assynt Field Club. As far as I understand the Flapper Skate cases have only been found along the Raffin coast within CALL. Once we had

,

Meet our Suilven Artist in Residence!

Hello CALL blog readers, I’m Alex Mackay and I’m this year’s Suilven Artist In Residence. I’m spending time throughout the year in the surrounding areas of Suilven creating a new sound work, but before I talk about that allow me to introduce what I do and what drew me to undertake this work. Broadly speaking, I’m a musician. My work takes varying forms; I play in bands, I collaborate with other artists working in different artforms, and I make music as a solo artist. My work for this residency falls into the solo category of my output; my solo work often consists of music made on conventional instruments (both acoustic and electronic), but also involves working with sound gathered from sources outside of traditional music making. Field recording – i.e. recording the sounds of a particular place/space – is a central part of this, and through this I aim to incorporate the sonic qualities of a place into the fabric of the music to create new perspectives on both the musical material and the place the sounds came from. The

,

What to Spot: September Edition

Welcome to our September Edition of What to Spot. Birds beginning to migrate south, trees beginning to turn golden and a slight chill in the air; Autumn is coming. There is still plenty to see out and about! One of the largest birds we have within CALL is the beautiful Gannet (Morus bassanus). Such amazing birds, diving at speeds of up to 55mph into the water with their large wings folded back to lower air resistance. Not only that but they lock the vertebrae in their neck when diving, inflate air sacks within their breast to protect themselves from the impact on the water and they avoid getting water up their nose buy having no external nostrils! Absolutely fascinating animal and watching them dive is a sight to remember. At this time of year Gannets are starting to migrate towards Africa although some stay and are joined by birds from St Kilda and the island Sula Sgeir in the Atlantic Ocean. Try Stoer Lighthouse or Reiff to see these seabirds although you could find them out at sea anywhere along

,

Heath or Mire? Bog or Swamp? Using Vegetation classifications with AFC

Last weekend I was lucky enough to join the Assynt Field Club (AFC) on their Training course on NVC Heaths and Mires identification, the funding of which was awarded in CALL’s Community Grant Scheme this year. It allowed AFC to bring in experts in the field Alison and Ben Averis to teach a training course to learn how to classify our heaths and bogs in order to look at how best to manage them or to evaluate their condition. NVC stands for National Vegetation Classification, developed in the 1980’s, and is the standard way to class vegetation types in Britain. It breaks down into many vegetation types, this course looking at heaths and mires only. There are 38 mire communities and 22 heath communities to decide on from the species of vegetation found in an area and their dominance. On day 1 we spent our time near Glencanisp Lodge, walking up the hill behind the walker’s carpark. Looking at the flora, lichens and liverworts we learned how to identify key species to help with classifications. This meant we could decide

,

Assynt Games 2019

As always, this year’s Assynt games was fantastic, all be it a little damp! But many of you didn’t let the rain stop the fun. It was fantastic to meet so many of you, local or visitor, and hear your experiences of Coigach and/or Assynt. This year on our stall saw the return of Fiona’s woodland creature workshop, making new friends for our office’s cuddly animals. Along side this we had a picture tree quiz and other worksheets. Thank you to those who gave our tree quiz a try! We were also proud to have community grant recipients leaflets for the new Assynt & Coigach Creative Trail and Griogair Macallein’s Low level Guided Story Walks. Thank you again to the Assynt Highland Games staff and volunteers for another fantastic event. We thoroughly look forward to next year!

,

What to Spot – August Edition

Wow, August already and our fourth joint wildlife blog with Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Partnership (CALLP). Lots of human visitors are just arriving on their summer holidays this month but, for many birds, plants and animals this is autumn and the start of preparations for winter! Many of the birds that passed through, and over, Coigach and Assynt in the spring on migration to their northern breeding grounds in Iceland and Greenland are now doing the reverse journey after, hopefully, a successful breeding season. One bird species that maybe we don’t always think of as a migrant is the Oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus. These unmistakable black and white waders with their long, stout orange bill do breed locally but many migrate to Iceland to do so. One great example of this was a colour-ringed Oystercatcher first spotted at Bay of Culkein on 18 September 2018. The details of this bird were sent to the British Trust for Ornithology and a few days later it’s history was received from the Iceland based International Wader Study Group. This male bird was previously

,

Orographic Performance comes to Little Assynt All Abilities Path

Last Tuesday we had some visitors to Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape by the name of Oceanallover. Currently they are on a tour of Scotland, performing their amazing Orographic piece. When we were first contacted about hosting a performance, we were intrigued and a look at their website and past events just made us want them to perform in the amazing landscape Coigach and Assynt have to offer event more! Myself and Laura spent days brainstorming on a place that would be perfect for their performance which is inspired by mountains, emotion and ecology. One site visit to Little Assynt and we knew it had to be there. We sent pictures of our walk and the views over to Oceanallover and Feral Arts, who are the producers for the show, and they all agreed this would be the place! After months of planning, the time came for us to meet Oceanallover on the Monday before the performance and show them around the site. The weather had other ideas and thick cloud and heavy drizzle obscured the mountains and most of

,

Woodland Activity Leader Training Oppertunity

We at CALL are delighted to announce that we have placed available for the residents of Coigach and Assynt to join us in bringing a new training course to the area. Wild things!, from Findhorn (https://wild-things.org.uk/), have agreed to come over to our beautiful part of the world to deliver their Woodland Activity Leader Training (WALT) programme. So, what is this course all about? Let’s hear from Wild Things! “If you are interested in enhancing your skills to lead groups in a woodland environment, training to become a Woodland Activity Leader will provide you with the learning and knowledge you require. Woodland Activity Leader Training is an accredited outdoor learning course and an alternative to forest school training. The General Teaching Council of Scotland has accredited Woodland Activity Leader Training with professional recognition. Teachers from across Scotland attending our Woodland Activity Leader Training can apply for GTCS professional recognition, towards their continued professional development, upon successful completion of the course. Accredited as a Level 2 Award, Woodland Activity Leader Training is a practical training course, filled with inspirational ideas and activities, that will provide you

Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape
Coigach & Assynt Living LandscapeMonday, December 2nd, 2019 at 5:06pm

🎍❄️This year has flown past and we have made it to our December What to Spot from Assynt Field Club. Click on the link below to see what species to look out for this month!❄️🎍

Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape
Coigach & Assynt Living LandscapeSaturday, November 30th, 2019 at 10:26am

Today! Find us at Little Assynt Tree Nursery with the Woodland Trust for their Big Climate Fightback campaign, planting trees! Can you spare 15 minutes? Why not also head into Lochinver and enjoy the Made in Assynt Christmas Market, Lochinver Village Hall, 10am - 4pm

Coigach & Assynt Living LandscapeSaturday, November 30th, 2019 at 11:22am
Coigach & Assynt Living LandscapeSaturday, November 30th, 2019 at 11:18am

Holly looking very proud of her newly planted oak tree. Being a very well behaved helper at our @WoodlandTrust #Bigclimatefightback event. 13/10 for helpfulness #EveryTreeHelps https://t.co/u35r9AaQ9B

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to keep informed about the latest news from our projects and upcoming events, training and volunteer opportunities.

Get involved

Find out how you can get involved with the project through events, training and volunteering opportunities