Thanks to You for 25 Years

The 19th November 2019 saw the 25th Birthday of the National Lottery and its funding of community projects such as us. The quiz this year was slightly different to the last. Instead of a December Christmas theme we had a Birthday party! Plenty of snacks and, of course, birthday cake, where shared amongst the 31 attendees as well as laughs and frustrations! Questions were based on the wildlife, landscape and people of CALL with added knowledge needed of 1994 to win this quiz. The scores were tight all night and the winners won by a quarter of a point! Congratulations to the winning team, The Indecicives and to the randomly picked team, The Developmentalists, we hope you enjoy your prizes. The baskets had a mix of local produce including the limited-edition Isle Martin Gin from the Highland Liquor Company in partnership with the Isle Martin Trust. CALLP has received £1.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to the end of September 2019, with a further £1.5 million due over the next 2 years. This funding has, so far, helped us


A Journey through Elphin for Quite an Adventure

Having supported The Journey Through Elphin community wall-hanging. project through our Community Grants Scheme it was a pleasure to attend the unveiling of the finished wall hanging at Elphin village Hall. Earlier in the year my six-year-old daughter had won the Elphin Chicken Day Painting Competition in school. She was now looking forward to counting the chickens on the community textile. We arrived just in time for the unveiling of the sewn artwork by the youngest member of the Elphin community to the delight of the Elphin craft group members who had created the hanging, other community members and visitors. This stunning wall hanging is huge! It measures 2.5 metres by 1.2 metres. It incorporates stories and icons of Elphin on a stylized map. Such landmarks as the Elphin Tearoom and red telephone box orient the map for the observer and are interspaced with historic and personalised memories and locations. Community members explained the meaning of the image of the Elphin women arguing with the bailiffs that recalls the women’s successful actions to confound the township’s evictions during the clearances,,


Here we go a-gathering…

Lovely Guest Blog from volunteer Griogair MacAllein.   The beautiful Autumnal seascape looking over the Minch from Eisg Brachaidh on the Auchiltibue road was the ideal location for a morning of ‘fruitful’ gathering of ‘DOG ROSE’ hips {Rosa canina}.   The seed will be ‘treated’ at the ‘Little Assynt Tree Nursery’ for planting next year. Watched on by basking Common Seals on the islands, a group of volunteers from the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Project and the Tree Nursery, armed with bags and buckets set about collecting the familiar red fruit perhaps best known for the bottles of ‘Rose Hip Syrup’ once familiar in family bathroom cabinets. For those of a certain age {myself included} lining up in primary school to be given a daily spoonful of ‘Rose Hip Syrup’ which contains Vitamin ‘C’ as a replacement for the lack of citrus fruit after the second world war. ‘Scurvy Grass’ was an unpleasant alternative. Children in the 50s and 60s were also sent out from classes to collect the ‘Dog Rose’ hips, and in the former decade, earned 3d per


What to Spot: November Edition

Continuing our partnership blog with Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape here are a few ideas to help you spot our wildlife during the coming month. During November, it can often look as if there is no wildlife to see. While the more obvious activity from cetaceans, birds and insects has definitely decreased dramatically there is still an amazing range of things to see. The Minch, for example, is home to three species of cetacean all year round: Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena; Risso’s Dolphin, Grampus griseus; and Orca, Orcinus orca. Good places to watch from? Really anywhere with an elevated view of the open sea, when it’s pretty calm; but, remember you do need to have patience and wrap up warm! This month should see the arrival of more and more winter thrushes as Redwing, Turdus iliacus fly in from Iceland; and, Fieldfare, T. pilaris along with Mistle Thrush, T. viscivorus arrive from the east. Many of the Blackbirds, T. merula that we see now will also be winter visitors. All these species are escaping much colder weather and reducing food


October Monthly Volunteer Day

Autumn seems to of come around so fast this year! A beautiful crisp day with on off showers meant we had a rainbow for most of the session! As our penultimate volunteer day this year we went for an autumnal stroll with a purpose: to collect Rose hips for the Little Assynt Tree Nursery in order to grow more. We were joined by Nick and Susan from the tree nursery to show us the best place for collecting, leaving behind enough for reproduction and wildlife. Fortunately, the walking was easy as we ended up searching along roadsides, but the real challenge was getting to the bush and then getting the hips without being spiked! We all had a great day, despite the spikes, and collected plenty for Nick and Susan to use. The next step is for the seeds to be extracted from the red, fleshy hips and sit in a cool, dark, dry place for about 18 months before planting. If planted any sooner they will simply not grow yet, they need a little time to be dormant. Thank


Sharing the OWL project with Scourie School

Since March this year the OWL project staff team has been working with Scourie Primary School pupils and teachers to assist with their expanding outdoor learning plans. When we were first asked to visit Scourie school the whole school and nursery had embarked upon a weekly morning outdoor session. The school was extremely lucky to have been offered the use of a small, local woodland for their outdoor space – it’s a beautiful mixed woodland within walking distance, just perfect for everyone. The staff had been learning a lot about how to run outdoor sessions and were very keen for new ideas that can be used to deliver the curriculum outdoors. We first focussed on maths as this is traditionally seen as a subject that needs to be taught in a classroom using textbooks and jotters. The maths mud kitchen is a great way to engage with maths in a practical sense but with the fun of getting muddy and creative – weighing and measuring amounts, adding and subtracting, estimating, counting. One of the subjects that the staff were keen


Wooden Tom’s Spoon Carving Photos

On the 10th of October, Wooden Tom returned to hold another popular spoon carving course. Unfortunately I couldn’t be there myself (Missed another spoon carving session! One day I will get to have a go!), but Tom sent us these lovely pictures that I would like to share with you all. Enjoy.


Going Wild in the Woods

Last week our 7 day Woodland Activity Leader Training came to an end. This is a little sum up of the week! What are the benefits of outdoor education?: exercise, resilience, learning coping strategies, risk awareness, sustainability, build immune system, develop skills such as problem solving, confidence, suits different learning styles, love and respect for natural world, knowledge, personal development, social, motor skills, coordination, stress reduction, balance, wonder and imagination, awaken the senses, wider context understanding, fresh air, muscle development, help sleep, reduce depression, reduce anxiety, economic benefits (free learning, reduce pollution and better education) and most importantly its FUN!!! What are the worlds needs for it: biodiversity loss, pollution, climate change, loss of natural spaces, fragmentation of habitats, natural resource depletions, increase in loneliness, depression, anxiety, stress – ‘epidemic’, disconnection to environment, diabetes, obesity and an increase in health issues. And there are many more for both! Outdoor learning’s value is constantly growing and is supported by many government bodies, charities and legislation, giving children every chance to experience their environment and love it while learning. Many have heard


Acheninver Path: It’s a brilliant walk!

On a gorgeous sunny September weekend, after 2 hours of cajoling, I was able to coax my 6-year-old daughter into the car and head for the beautiful landscape of Coigach.  Following a 45 minute drive to Acheninver, my grumpy daughter reluctantly set off with me to explore the path to the Acheninver Beach that has recently been upgraded from an informal track to more solid footing. The Acheninver Coastal Path is a project of Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership (CALLP) and is being implemented by Coigach Community Development Company (CCDC) in coordination with Scottish Wildlife Trust.  The path work on the coastal part of the Acheninver Path was finished in the early September 2019 by ACT Heritage Ltd., a contractor with local roots. Starting from East Acheninver the 150m of upgraded path to Acheninver Beach has resolved the wet, peaty slog.  The path builders have now placed steps that provide firmer footing to the beach.  Once on the beach we followed the coast west and crossed the Acheninver burn, Alt Ach’ a’ Bhraighe.  From the burn one can either


What to spot: October Edition

Welcome to our October Edition of what wildlife you can look for when out and about. A lot of migrants are arriving this month to spend the winter with us in Coigach and Assynt. The beautiful red heads of Rowan berries are a favourite of several species including Waxwings, Redwings and Fieldfares.   Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) are a stocky bird that can be seen in small groups to large gatherings. On their heads, they have a prominent crest and black chin as well as yellow flashes on their wings and tail. They are arriving now and through November. The birds that visit us have flown from Northern Scandinavia and Siberia where they breed. Redwing (Turdus iliacus) are a shy bird with red flanks and the smallest of the true thrushes we can see. Its favourite foods are berries, apples and insects. Some arrived towards the end of September but most birds will arrive this month, flying all the way from Iceland. Few breed here but they can arrive in their thousands. Interesting fact: Redwing first nested in Scotland in Inverness

Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape
Coigach & Assynt Living LandscapeMonday, February 24th, 2020 at 4:15pm

One week left to apply for our Community Grants Scheme!

Grants of up to £1,000 for individuals and up to £5,000 for organisations are available for projects which conserve, record, or inform people about local natural, built, or cultural heritage.

Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape
Coigach & Assynt Living LandscapeThursday, February 20th, 2020 at 5:01pm

Fancy getting out and about and helping the environment this Feb? Come and join us for our Monthly volunteer day; this month we are cleaning the beaches of Culag Woods. Meet at the Main carpark at 10am

Coigach & Assynt Living LandscapeMonday, February 24th, 2020 at 6:18pm

Wibble wobble

Wibble wobble

Spindrift on the shore https://t.co/Gr1uvF351w

Coigach & Assynt Living LandscapeMonday, February 24th, 2020 at 1:19pm

Final week for applications to our Community Grants Scheme! Deadline is 12 noon, Monday 2nd March.

Find out more and download the application form at https://t.co/gy6Zl5EERN

Our Community Grants Scheme is funded...

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