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Corona Virus CALLP Update

The situation with the coronavirus has caused various discussion within the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership (CALLP) team and the Scottish Wildlife Trust with regards to local and national response, and immediately required, responsible action.  This has taken into consideration the wellbeing of the partners, the CALLP team and the wider community, as well as the commitment and ambition to implement the CALLP Scheme.   Most importantly the message from the government is that we all now need to minimise non-essential contact.  Therefore, as the employer, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has instructed all the CALLP team to implement the following measures:   where feasible all team staff to work from home the CALLP office will be closed to non-essential visitors no activities, events or meetings will be held or planned, unless held online or by phone   The CALLP team will continue to help partners to coordinate the implementation of the more than 28 projects within the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape through telephone and electronic communication.  Where projects are not able to achieve their objectives, due to unforeseen

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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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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

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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

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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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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!

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Tree-mendous Volunteers

Today (20th May) we held a volunteer day at Little Assynt Tree Nursery. For those of you unfamiliar with the nursery, they grow all locally sourced seeds collected by Nick and Susan (our amazing nursery team) and volunteers to produce thousands of trees for local planting projects including our Woodland Planting Project. Tasks for the volunteers today included pricking out seedling Bird Cherries (Prunus padus) and putting them into cells to allow room for further growth and weeding those already in cells to start them on the journey to being ready for planting out on project sites. This included Alder (Alnus glutinosa), Birch (Betula pubescens) and Rowan (Sorbus acuparia). Thanks you to those that came along and battled the midges! Our next volunteer day is the 23rd may at Glencanisp Lodge, carrying out some path maintenance and species recording along the Glencanisp Nature Trail. For more details on our tree nursery please follow the link: https://coigach-assynt.org/little-assynt-tree-nursery/

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CALL at the Assynt Games

After a pretty grey start, what a fantastic day we had for the games! The organisers did an amazing job of putting on a wide range of entertainment alongside the more traditional highland game events such as the hammer throw and caber toss. We had a great time meeting so many people from the local community and far beyond. Alongside our information on the area and projects we are currently running, we set up an activities corner for kids. This included animal origami, the return of the fish shoal tree and creating our own woodland throughout the day. Many wonderful creatures were created! We also had local native trees and beautiful Honeysuckle from the Little Assynt Tree Nursery for sale. We had a great time at the games and hope to see you all again next year!

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CALL at the Coigach Gathering

On Saturday the annual Coigach Gathering kicked off with a performance from the Achiltibuie and Ullapool Pipers and were followed by many other events throughout the day such as the kids and adult hill races, welly wanging and guess the weight of the salmon. Another scorcher of a day brought crowds of locals and tourists to come and enjoy the sunshine, stalls and BBQ. It was great to speak to so many of you about the area and send some more of the Little Assynt Tree Nursery’s trees and wild flowers to new homes. Alongside our project information and advice we had some activities for kids including origami animals and creating a shoal of hanging fish over the day. A bare branch at the start turned into a colourful rainbow of hanging fish throughout the event. Don’t they look amazing! Thank you to all the kids who did an amazing job of colouring and covering the branch. The next event CALL will have a stall at will be the Assynt Games held in Lochinver on the 10th August. Hope to

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