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The Big Climate Fightback: Tree Planting at Little Assynt

Guest Blog by Alison Roe   Saturday 30th November Quinag looms high on the horizon, glowing gently in the afternoon sun as I pull into the car park by the tree nursery at Little Assynt. I’m here for the tree planting event, organised by CALLP in partnership with The Woodland Trust, and we’re definitely lucky with the weather. Rain and high winds are forecast for the coming week but today it’s beautiful – cold and clear – a great day to be outside and good conditions for planting trees. The area to be planted is just a few minutes walk along the path from the car park: a little hollow open to the east with views over to Quinag. Even though I’ve arrived quite early, there are already quite a few folk busy with spades, with Elaine on hand to explain what to do. I comment on the beauty of the location. Elaine explains that they chose this particular spot for its easy access and for its suitability for planting: it’s not too steep and is mostly grass and bracken

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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

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Volunteering Programme 2019!

As the new year is approaching, I am excited to tell you about the new monthly volunteer programme that will launch in January 2019! The fourth Thursday of each month we will have a volunteer event running, rotating about the projects. Other volunteer events may be arranged as extras to this program. Examples of activities we may carry out include tree planting, beach cleaning, natural heritage data collection, path building and helping at the Little Assynt Tree Nursery. Levels of fitness vary between types of activities; I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, please contact me at the email below. If you have an interest in being outside, improving your fitness, learning a new skill, looking after your local environment or would just like to meet likeminded people; why not join us? The first volunteer day will be on the 24th January 2019 with details of where released nearer to the time. Anyone is more than welcome to join for half an hour or the day! We encourage everyone to try something new and be

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Volunteers, We Need You!

Volunteer week is coming! From the 1st to the 7th June we are joining organisations across Scotland in recognising and celebrating the time and dedication of volunteers. Whether it is an hour here and there or long-term volunteers we appreciate all the help and support that people give us. Volunteers are incredibly important to organisations such as ourselves. Skills and experiences that you can share with us are just as important as what we can show you. There are 28 projects running at the moment in CALL with many opportunities are coming up throughout the year across from path building to surveying wildlife; tree planting to removal of invasive species. We are looking for more volunteers to help us carry out these plans. More information about our projects can be found here. People volunteer for several reasons: whether it is to meet new people, learn new skills, be outside or be part of the community and its natural surroundings. It can also help with future employment or give you a change to find a new career path. We encourage everyone

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The Start of Something

Guest blog by Chris Goodman, Path Project Officer for the John Muir Trust, from 6th June 2017. After four years of preparation I can’t believe the path work on Suilven has flown by so quickly. Arran Footpaths have now finished this year’s work on the higher sections of Suilven while A.C.T. Heritage are half way through their work on the lower path. It feels like it’s all whizzed by in a storm of activity and action but that’s quite often the way with path work – once contractors are on site it’s all hands on deck and a race to the finish. But it’s also felt like a real privilege to be involved with the whole process and spend more time out there, getting to know Suilven. Spending more time lower down on Suilven I’ve noticed things that I’ve just walked past before, chiff chaffs singing from trees near the start of the path, primroses in flower a bit further along, birch, rowan and aspen growing from inaccessible ledges and gullies and Merlin calling flying over the Bealach. It’s easy

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Planting starts in huge ecosystem restoration

Guest blog by George Anderson, PR & Communications Officer for Woodland Trust Scotland (originally published on the Woodland Trust website) Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Scheme (CALL) is a unique partnership working to enhance the natural, built and cultural heritage of one of the UK’s most spectacular landscapes. We are handling the forestry component and we are delighted to say the first trees have gone into the ground. CALL’s area covers 635 square kilometers and has a population of 1,200. Some of our most enigmatic mountains are within the patch which boasts: 1 national scenic area 3 special areas of conservation 2 special protection areas 8 sites of special scientific interest 1 marine protected area 1 national nature reserve 2 core wild land areas The territory covered stretches between Ullapool, Achiltibuie and Lochinver in the North-West highlands. Pre-school children from Lochinver helped start the planting of 100 hectares of land near the village with downy birch, alder, willow, oak, hazel, wych elm, bird cherry, gean, rowan and aspen. The involvement of organisations and schools The Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership

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Achlochan Coastal Heritage Project Update

  The Achlochan Peninsula in Achiltibuie has seen lots of activity over the past two months, with more to come. In late October a week long archaeological survey took place. The main focus was the ruined broch on the south-east of the peninsula, but the entire peninsula was considered and surveyed with many interesting new sites identified – the full report will be available by the end of this year. The survey work provided an opportunity for local residents to get involved and learn first-hand how professional archaeologists record and assess a site, whilst also hosting visits from 30 Achiltibuie and Lochinver Primary School pupils and 32 Ullapool High School pupils during the week. Work is now almost complete on a new track from the Piping School Café to the shore (for restricted vehicle access) and then on to the Firing Range Target (footpath only). This was undertaken by Scottish Water, and although part of the initial CALL project proposal, has been completed free of charge, providing much improved access to the peninsula and linking in with repair works to

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