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3 Seasons in the Park - with visitors!
New facilities coming soon...
Watch this space for some new developments in the Park
Help save Loch Arkaig woodland
The Woodland Trust has launched a campain to purchase the Loch Arkaig Pine Forest.
The Loch Arkaig Pine Forest combines two areas of native Caledonian pine, oak and birch woodland. The 1,200 acre western wood, Coille a Ghuibhais ('the pine forest') and the 1,300 acre eastern wood, An t-Seann Fhrith ('the old deer forest') together comprise one of the largest remaining fragments of ancient Caledonian pinewood in Scotland.
Sadly, the forest has been left degraded, a result of the clear-felling of ancient woodland in the 18th century, the planting of non-native conifers in the 1960s and grazing by sheep and deer. The land also bears the scars of training exercises by the very first commando units during the Second World War.
Visit the Woodland Trust website for more information and see how you can help.
Ranger Report March 2016
1) Biological survey & monitoring
Squirrels – We had a clean bill of health on the last 10 samples sent off in September 2015 for squirrel pox virus testing. There are no samples being collected at present. Volunteers are managing and monitoring four dual feeder boxes to try and confirm if there are anything other than grey squirrels using them. This round will finish at the end of April 2016.
Butterflies – UKBMS transect survey training cannot be delivered by the Ranger Service this year due to lack of staff. Butterfly Conservation are taking on Fallin Bing and Wester Moss. Hopefully some of our experienced survey volunteers can continue this in the Country Park. Survey starts on 1st April.
Orchids – The meadows were not cut at all this October due to being at a point in the cycle where they do not require cutting in order to follow the regime informed by the previous 6 years of zone management. The ultimate aim is to get sheep on to graze for a few months in the winter, but this will need considered preparation before going ahead. It would be a cheaper, and more environmentally friendly method of managing these meadows.