Volunteer Report

February 9th 2024

Volunteer Report

Volunteering Partnership with Highlife Highland Countryside Ranger Service

In November 2022 Assynt Field Club (AFC) entered into a partnership with Highlife Highland Countryside Ranger Service. Under the guidance of Andy Summers, Senior Ranger, we hoped to carry out some wildlife, etc. conservation projects around Assynt. An initial meeting in Stoer Village Hall to gauge interest resulted in 20 people being added to our Volunteer Mailing List. The number continues to grow and currently stands at 30.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between these two organisations with AFC taking the lead. The benefit of the MoU is if Andy asks us to carry out a certain ‘task’, and as long as he is present we have insurance cover. Of course that helps protect the volunteers and the Ranger Service.

Grant Assistance

The mailing list, along with other administrative needs, is managed by Avril Haines. The most important piece of admin. this year was contacting the Assynt Crofters Trust (ACT) about possible grant assistance. Having no funding as such, this application was to help the partnership purchase items needed to complete some tasks. As the attached report shows the application was successful, and we are extremely grateful to the ACT for their assistance.

We are already planning some jobs for 2024. Worryingly however, the entire Ranger Service is one budget cut being considered by Highland Council in order to meet this year’s budgetary demands. We shall see!

If you would like to be added to the Volunteer Mailing List please contact us at assyntwildlife@gmail.com.

Apart from the work it’s also great to see some of our wildlife.

Thank you.

Words and photos David Haines

The Volunteer Report

Volunteering Partnership with Highlife Highland Countryside Ranger Service

In November 2022 Assynt Field Club (AFC) entered into a partnership with Highlife Highland Countryside Ranger Service (Andy Summers, Senior Ranger) to carry out some wildlife, etc. conservation projects around Assynt. An initial meeting in Stoer Village Hall to gauge interest in this partnership resulted in 20 people asking to be included on our Volunteer Mailing List; this number continues to grow and currently stands at 30.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between these two organisations with AFC taking the lead.

Andy’s workload permitting we met on the last Tuesday/Wednesday of the month and carried out the following –

Date Location and task No of Volunteers
24/11/22 Culag Woods – remove sitka spruce 14
24/1/23 Culag Woods – Clear path drains/remove sitka spruce 13
28/2/23 Clachtoll – Marram grass planting and board walk cleared 20
28/3/23 Lochinver – Wildflower Meadows planted 7
25/4/23 Glencanisp – Nature Trail plants cut back from path 6
23/5/23 Culag Woods – hazel tree planting 8
28/6/23 Achmelvich – bracken removal 8
29/8/23 Balchladich – beach clean 15
31/8/23 Balchladich – beach clean 9
27/9/23 Achmelvich – scythe and rake section of machair 4
31/10/23 Culag Woods – Willow fencing at play area 9
5/12/23 Clashnessie – tree planting along the burn 8
TOTAL 121

As each session lasted 2 hours we have contributed 242 hours of volunteer effort over the year.

Bird boxes

In addition, volunteer Steve Langford made eight Blue Tit boxes and one Barn Owl box; Mark Kneebone made six Bat boxes, and Eachan Mackenzie made one Barn Owl box.

Our volunteers were happy to use their own equipment, tools, etc. However the cost of raw materials for bird boxes, fencing, etc. was proving prohibitive. It was suggested to us that the Assynt Crofters’ Trust might be able to help cover these costs by way of a grant to AFC.

A request was submitted to the Trust and a grant of £528 was awarded at their meeting in January 2023. This money has been spent as follows –

Date Purchase Cost
January 2023 Timber for bird boxes £41.85
February 2023 Timber for owl boxes £162.00
March 2023 Spades £59.40
October 2023 Weldmesh for trees £229.32
November 2023 Deer posts for Clashnessie £52.75
  TOTAL £545.32
Grant Awarded £528.00
  Overspend met by AFC £17.32

Many thanks to all involved.

Avril Haines

January 2024

 

Report a Sighting

Recent Sightings

Woodland Sage

20+ plants, Loch Assynt shore (Murray Anderson) (19/07)

Garden Tiger (Arctia caja)

Single moth in grass, by Loch Assynt (Murray Anderson).  Photo Gallery - Moths (19/07)

Reed Bunting

Single bird on bracken, by Loch Assynt (Murray Anderson) (19/07)

Common Blue

Single butterfly on clover & bracken, by Loch Assynt (Murray Anderson) (19/07)

Rosy Woodlouse (Androniscus dentiger)

Single woodlouse, Nedd (Benjamin McTaggart and Ian Evans).  In grass tussocks, garden; first record from Assynt and West Sutherland (18/07)

Red Kite

Single bird, over Achmelvich (Richard Evans) (18/07)

Brown Centipede (Lithobius forficatus)

Single invertebrate in grass, Nedd (Benjamin McTaggart and Ian M. Evans). Possibly one previous record from Assynt (NC23) (18/07)

Sawfly (Tenthredo sp)

Two insects on angelica flowers, Achnacarnin (Murray Anderson).  Photo Gallery - Other Insects (17/07)

Map