I’m into my fourth week of a six week assignment and am happy to report good progress.  The stakeholder meeting to develop the access and recreation plan was very well attended with strong representation across the community.  Stakeholders worked in groups and used innovative exercises to prioritise the many comments and suggestions drawn from surveys and consultations.  Many thanks to all for their interest, enthusiasm and considered contributions.  The results will form a draft plan which will be circulated to all stakeholders for comment before being submitted to directors for approval.

I attended a Community Woodlands Association event in Lochgilphead earlier that day.  This annual meeting, held in Argyll, brings people in the sector together to discuss common issues, visit different enterprises to see how they operate, and provides an opportunity to share knowledge and information.  Their regular bulletin is an excellent source for jobs, training, funding and events.  Have a look if you are interested in, or already involved with, forestry-related activities.

CWA Issue 87 Feb 14

The spring and summer events programme kicks off in March with the ideal workshop – nest-box building.   Entice your favourite birds to nest in your garden as spring arrives.  The workshop will be held indoors on Saturday 15th from 10am to 1pm in the workshed.  You’ll be kept dry but do wear warm clothes.  This workshop is FREE but can only take a maximum of 8.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  You can take your nestbox home with you to decorate as you wish.

Please call Nina on 01700 500541 during office hours to reserve your place.

I will have more on other events very soon, including a new activity for the forest which will be very popular indeed.

I did the stretch from Ardmaleish Point to Rhubodach for the RSPB’s annual beached bird survey and was relieved not to find any dead birds.  With a weimaraner, a labrador and a retriever for company, I doubt we missed any.  It was really depressing though to see the amount of rubbish washed up, big items in big numbers that need a dedicated effort for their removal.   We took what we could re-use or recycle and left it at intervals along the roadside to collect on our way back in the car.  It highlighted the enormous task faced by Beachwatch in keeping our shores beautiful for us and our visitors.