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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

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A hill walk celebration

The P7 John Muir Award finale involved a hill walk up Quinag today. We were guided safely up the mountain by several mountain leaders, including the head teacher of Ullapool High School, Robbie McFedries who joined us to spend some quality time with next academic year’s S1s. It was wonderful seeing how the P7s from the area’s primary schools have gelled; getting to know each other over the duration of the year with this high school transition programme as we have met up to discover, explore, conserve and share a special place from the locale of each school. Our day together today provided the opportunity to get up high and look over the landscape that incorporates all these locations. We managed to get brief glimpses as clouds shifted and cleared intermittently. There was support all round as we faced the challenges ahead of us. For many it was a first time up a hill, and everybody did extraordinarily well. We are so proud of each and every P7 for going for it and embracing the walk, which wasn’t always easy.

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Twenty-nine teens, four days, and an Island

Early last Tuesday morning, twenty-nine Ullapool High School S1 students arrived on Isle Martin and set up camp for a four-day residential trip. During this time, they took part in various activities including kayaking, den-building, bird-spotting, seashore exploration, woodland immersion, and a mini-expedition to another part of the island. And there was plenty of time in the mornings and evenings to chill out with some art-work, play games around base camp and log experiences in the diary room. In the spirit of limited electricity and enjoying being in the moment of activities and island life, we also incorporated a digital detox into the trip. Aspects surrounding this entered conversation quite naturally with comments including “I’ve enjoyed not thinking about my phone” and “it’s been so nice to sit and chat with friends without phones distracting us”. It was a brilliant week, and we hope the S1s enjoyed themselves as much as we did. We are still recovering from all the planning and implementing, here in the CALL office, and words are not coming easily, so below are a few pictures

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Ullapool High School Students Survive The Iron Age!

Ullapool High School S2s stepped back in time on a windy, autumnal day at Clachtoll Broch earlier this month. Three main tasks had been prepared for the pupils, enabling them to delve further into their exploration of the local history as they work towards their Archaeology Scotland Heritage Hero Awards. The tepee was set up as a “Mock Broch” for an iron-age re-enactment activity, creating a feast to celebrate the life of their deceased clan chieftain. Various representations of food items were hidden around the area, and in small “family” groups, the S2s selected the required tools to assist them in obtaining the ingredients for their recipes. Delicacies ranged from roast venison with wild mushrooms and rowan jelly through to sea urchin with bread fingers. At the actual Broch, many different daily life chores and activities were set up for the S2s to get stuck into, from de-husking the wheat in the original knocking stone and milking a goat, to making clay pots and spinning wool using spindle whorls. As everyone got stuck into their task, there was a shout

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A walk on the wild side at Clachtoll

Another rough week of weather but the sun tried to shine for us and people came out to join myself, Andy, David and Avril on a walk around Clachtoll, learning about wildlife recording and its importance. So fully waterproofed up (just in case!), we headed out! Assynt Field Club, of which Andy, David and Avril are members, are corelating wildlife sightings across Assynt. The importance of this is to see how species distributions and populations change over time as well as if there are new species entering Assynt due to changes in climate or habitat. Such a species is the Vulgar or Spanish Slug (Arion vulgaris) which we spotted on a rocky outcrop near the beach. It was one of the first sightings of the day and although some may think it not be the most exciting species we could have seen, it is only the second ever record for Assynt (first recording earlier this year). A last-minute fly over by a White-tailed eagle soaring above Clachtoll led to another first sighting for one of our couples. After our walk

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Raffin Beach Clean Success!

At the start of the week when I looked at the weather forecast for the 13th and 14th I was sceptical if we would be able to run the beach clean with the horrible weather that was being predicted but as the week went on things started to look brighter and I headed down, hoping some brave people would join me! Day 1 was pretty wet and windy, as expected, but over the day many people turned up to help and we managed to clear most of the worst parts of the beach south of the bothies. I was staggered with the amount that the volunteers collected, especially in the challenging conditions. Day 2 was much the same with the weather, but more determined volunteers turned up to help us clean the north beach. This beach wasn’t quite as bad as the couth but it was still astonishing the amount we collected. We had 5 big metal bins and completely filled them and then some! All I can say is a HUGE thank you to all that turned out to

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