Young Wildcats – HILL to GRILL

February 16th 2018

The day was cold and wet but 33 pupils from Ullapool High School S2 were on their hands and knees, and often their stomachs, crawling through the heather and bog! A small herd of red deer were munching happily on the hillside unaware of the approaching group of people. The pupils were not there to shoot the deer but to capture a photograph. The group were divided into four teams at four locations in Assynt. The team that came home with the best photograph would win. Why were they doing all this? It was all part of a project called Hill to Grill organised by Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape with help from the Highland Rangers, Assynt Foundation, John Muir Trust, and teachers from the school.

The project was designed to show the Ullapool pupils just where our food comes from and how it gets from the hill to the kitchen and onto our plates. And, as far as we know, this is the first time a school has ever done something like this.

It was great fun tracking the deer – looking for footprints and stuff. We learned about walking into the wind and moving quietly to reduce being sensed by deer” said Ralph.

Wild venison has lower food miles.  It is one of the healthiest forms of meat, high in protein, lower in fat and has higher levels of vitamins and minerals than beef.  The free range nature of wild deer also means that the animals have a high quality of life.

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Recent Sightings


single animal still in full ermine Clachtoll (DAH) (16/03)


14 flying over Clachtoll (DAH) (16/03)


single bird feeding on Stoer Green (DAH) (16/03)

Ringed Plover

eight feeding on Stoer Green (DAH) (16/03)


25 flying around Culkein Stoer (Lesley Sleight and Annella Bulch) (14/03)

Meadow Pipit

20 feeding on grazing land around old cemetery Stoer (Bill and Val Badger) (14/03)

Black-throated Diver

single bird on Maiden Loch near Clachtoll (Paul Burnett) (13/03)


10+ clumps in road ditch Pollachapuill road, Culkein Drumbeg (Ian Evans). One clump was frosted indicating it had possibly been in situ since the last night of minus temperatures which was 9th/10th March. (13/03)