Assynt Field Club’s 30th Anniversary Events

September 7th 2016

Field Club’s 30th Anniversary

Assynt Field Club’s 30th Anniversary Events were 30 years in the creating, 2 years in the planning then simply took 8 days to deliver, but they were a great success.

With walks and talks covering geology, birds, cetaceans, a beach clean, plants, moths and fantastic presentations in Lochinver Village Hall by natural history photographer Laurie Campbell and nature writer and broadcaster Jim Crumley there was plenty going on.

Current Chairman Andy Summers formally started the celebrations at Laurie Campbell’s event on 2nd August when he welcomed several founding members and gave a brief outline of the other events on the programme.

In total just short of 300 Assynt residents and visitors enjoyed the nine events which ran from 1st to 9th August. Very pleasing was the number of European visitors who came along to the events and the club’s Facebook page now has many new likes from Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The depth and breadth of knowledge available within the Field Club is such that only the geology walk needed to be led by non-members. Pete Harrison, of the North West Highlands Geopark, was asked to help in that regard and his understanding of Assynt’s geology brought around 3 billion years of geological history brilliantly to life.

Laurie Campbell’s presentation on 2nd August was simply stunning. The audience were gently transported through over 400 images of Laurie’s natural history and landscape portfolio; each one looked at for a few seconds but some of them days in the capturing. Laurie also donated a prize for the night’s raffle, a full colour print of any image from his presentation.

The closing event on Tuesday 9th August was an evening with writer and broadcaster Jim Crumley. Jim not only talked about his wildlife encounters and read from several of his beautiful books but also launched his latest book ‘The Nature of Autumn’ at the event. As Jim read an extract from this book, about his encounter with a Green Woodpecker, there was no other sound in the hall such is his mastery of words.

Past Chairman Ian Evans closed proceedings on the 9th with a roundup of some of the Field Club’s achievements, including having amassed around 200,000 natural history records from Assynt. Ian also spoke briefly about the aspirations the club holds and how the digital era will play an ever increasing role in the collection and dissemination of current and future records.

Ian also thanked everyone involved in the planning and delivery of the programme of events, particularly Avril and David Haines, before all those present enjoyed the home baking while having their book purchases signed by Jim.

The photographs show Gwen Richards receiving first prize in the raffle from Laurie Campbell and Jim Crumley signing copies of several of his books which were purchased on the night.

Article originally published in the Assynt News during September 2016

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