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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

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Sounds around Suilven

The crunch of gravel underfoot… leaves rustling in the breeze… birds singing… the odd giggle (or scuffle!). And the quiet stillness in between. If you happened to be down at Glencanisp yesterday afternoon, you may have been surprised to suddenly happen across eleven mostly-silent 8-10 year-olds. It was certainly a surprise for us to discover how quiet they could be, and how absorbed they became in listening and recording sounds during a workshop delivered by CALLP’s Artist in Residence, Alex Mackay. Alex has spent the last few months popping up and down between Glasgow and Assynt to collect recordings as he interprets Suilven through the medium of sound (more here), and he’s spent his latest visit sharing his passion with others. We began inside where we listened to some of Alex’s creations, guessing the subjects of his musical compositions, along with a couple of BBC Planet Earth recordings. Imagine 11 facial expressions after discovering one of these turned out to be the noises of vultures tearing at a zebra carcass, in which the sound recorder had been strategically placed! Alex

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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

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End of road for £200k Suilven path restoration work

On 21st June 2019 a small ceremony was held to mark the completion of the repairs on the Suilven Path. The ceremony was attended by directors of the Assynt Foundation, and representatives of the Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape Partnership and the John Muir Trust, and by the project’s coordinator Chris Goodman who is now concentrating on developing his local woodcraft business, having recently stepped down from his former role. To mark the handover, a framed print of one of Chris Puddephatt’s photos was presented to the Assynt Foundation by John Muir Trust. Chris had been commissioned to document the Suilven Path project through photography and blog posts, which can be found on the Suilven Path page. Read more on the John Muir Trust website (opens new window)

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CALL for artists 2019!

Invitation for application for a Suilven Artist Residency The Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Partnership CALLP, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, in association with the Assynt Foundation, is issuing this open invitation for expressions of interest to apply for an Art Residency to focus on Suilven, a mountain of distinctive shape and character, and one that is ranked among the most iconic in Scotland. Suilven dominates much of Assynt Foundation’s 44,000 acres of community owned land. Major work has been funded by CALLP to improve and conserve the footpath providing access to the summit of Suilven. The recent and previous human interventions raise many questions and issues of significance for artistic exploration, and creative expression across a broad spectrum of perspectives and disciplines. But there is more to Suilven than the footpath and human interventions, and we are open to proposals that address whatever artists wish to express by whatever form of creative endeavour. Download the artist brief from the link below to find out more about the project and how to apply. The deadline for receipt of applications

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Happy Heritage Treasures Day!

Today is #HeritageTreasures day so we’re sharing some of the heritage treasures being conserved and enhanced through our partnership scheme, made possible thanks to players of the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Lets start big with the iconic mountain Suilven, where the path has been mightily improved by John Muir Trust over the last two years under the Suilven Path project. Suilven also holds a Heritage Treasure of its own: the mysterious wall that runs across its ridge, shown here while a helicopter delivers bags of stone for the higher up path repairs. No one quite knows why it’s there. Old boundary? Destitution relief work? Who knows. One of the reasons for repairing the Suilven path is to protect the Heritage Treasures at risk from walkers’ footfall such internationally significant bryophytes (mosses and liverworts), peat beds (important for carbon storage), and plantlife like this orchid next to the new path. If the 19km trek up Suilven and back is a bit much, the Assynt Foundation is also home to the Glencanisp Nature Trail. Built in 2017 the trail is a

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Learning The Way!

By Katrina Martin, CALLP Education Manager (Job Share) Ever since I stepped into the role of Education Manager for the Outdoor & Woodland Learning Project I have been excited at the prospect of delivering an Outdoor Learning session themed around paths, especially given the variety of paths and access projects CALLP has. Like many of us, I enjoy going out for walks and accessing beautiful places. Yet until relatively recently I didn’t give a second thought to where I was placing my feet. A growing awareness has cultivated an appreciation for the impressively hard graft and the people involved in path work, which I feel is a valuable thing to share given that most of us find ourselves traversing footpaths at some point or another, and will be increasingly so in Coigach and Assynt! With the imminent completion of the Suilven path work, we were presented with a great opportunity to bring a path-themed Outdoor Learning day to fruition on a collaboration project with John Muir Trust Paths Project Officer, Chris Goodman, and the Assynt Foundation. For the past couple

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We’ve ‘Done’ Suilven

Guest blog by Chris Goodman, Path Project Officer for the John Muir Trust I look at my watch, it’s 5.30pm and it’s still a long walk back to Glencanisp from the steep slope on the north side of Suilven. It’s the last day on site of the path repair project and it’s been all hands on deck getting everything finished off. The last bit of pitching has turned into an epic with the steep ground above collapsing, water gushing out of a spring and an ever spreading mess of peat. Xabi, Luke and Alec have been toiling away with it all day and it’s finally done. We set off from Glencanisp just after 8am and it’ll be 7pm before we get back down, but the job’s done. In fact that’s pretty much the whole Suilven path project done (bar the final paper work). Three years of project development and fund-raising and two summers of hands-on construction and it’s done. But as with a hill walker celebrating they’ve ‘done’ Suilven, a path repair project is never done, because a hill can

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The Final Push

Guest blog by commissioned photographer, Chris Puddephatt Only a few days left now; the whole project is nearing completion. Time has flown. Scary. At the beginning of this season I met Chris Goodman to identify a few sites as likely candidates for “before and after” shots and got the first set in the bag. Now I’m back with him trying to identify the same sections of muddy or stony eroded path for the follow-up. Some are really easy, but others prove a challenge as they’ve changed so much. As I start shooting, I realise that the first set were on a different camera/ lens combination, and it’s not making it easier….. My fault; I should’ve checked before I left home. Anyway, the pictures speak for themselves. Job done! The lower path workers are long gone, but the Arran boys are still here. Today I meet up with Alec and Xabi again, and also Johny and Rab who I’ve not seen since 2017. I have to admit that I’ve missed these folks, and I hardly know them really. And this is

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Groundhog Day

Guest blog by commissioned photographer, Chris Puddephatt After several attempts to contact Alec the team leader by phone (mine was playing up, and his had no signal at all…. modern technology!!!), I drove up to Glencanisp one evening to have a proper old fashioned conversation about my next visit. It was good to meet again after almost 12 months. The following day, the forecast said that early drizzle and mist would clear mid-morning; three separate forecasts, no less. That would be fine, so off I went; accompanied by a mate, Derek, who hadn’t been to Suilven for too long. We drank tea in the car park to let the weather clear a bit; then it looked brighter, so we set off. Duped. Up at the gully, we met Alec, Xabi and Ewan, and it was wet. I planned to do some time-lapse and carried all the gear, which is quite heavy after a while, but it wasn’t happening in these conditions. Derek and myself thought we were buying time by going up to the summit, but all we did was

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