Crag Loppers

Thanks to everyone who braved the atrocious weather last Saturday to help clear scrub from the Poll Dubh Crags in Glen Nevis.  Friends of Nevis joined volunteers from Nevis Landscape Partnership and the Poll Dubh Club to make a great start on removing trees from around the crags that are preventing access for climbers.  This was started by the late Ed Grindley, a keen local climber, and we were delighted to be able to carry on his work thanks to a kind bequest.

We made a noticeable improvement on the day, and us enthusiastic amateurs armed with loppers and bow saws gave Calum, Lewis and their chainsaws a run for their money.  This work will continue as part of the Nevis Landscape Partnership’s Future Forest project and there will be plenty more opportunities to volunteer over the next few years.  It’s all being done with expert advice so that the woodland and climbers can coexist happily.


Special thanks go to the guys from 3 Wise Monkeys Climbing - good luck with your fundraising!



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Festive Nevis

Thanks to everyone who came along to our festive events in Glen Nevis on the 13th and 14th December.  FON members joined Nevis Landscape Partnership staff and volunteers on the Saturday to make a significant dent in the non-native conifer regeneration that needs to be cleared to allow Scots Pine to flourish near the Lower Falls.  As a happy coincidence, it also produced lots of perfect Christmas trees to reward the volunteers and raise money for the Lochaber Food bank through donations from members of the public.

On the Sunday the Highland Council Rangers and FON took over the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre for an afternoon of Christmas crafts and storytelling.  There was an excellent turn out for both events and everyone seemed to get into the festive spirit!

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Sprucing up the Glen

A huge thank you to everyone who came along to our litter pick yesterday.  Everyone put in a great effort and the Glen is now looking wonderfully clean.  Seeing the litter people leave in such a beautiful place can make you despair, but the enthusiasm and hard work of our volunteers never fails to restore your faith in humankind.  Thanks also to the Ben Nevis Highland Centre and Lidl who again provided refreshments to fuel us on our way.

This winter we are working with local schools and community groups to encourage a responsible attitude to litter from a young age.  Lochyside Primary School and Lochaber College have already helped us remove litter from the Ben path and we are hoping to take more school groups out in the coming months.  We are also running a poster competition to see if local children can persuade people to think again before littering the Glen.

Our next even will be a Festive Extravaganza on the 13th and 14th December.  On Saturday 13th we’ll be helping Nevis Landscape Partnership and Forestry Commission remove small non-native conifer trees from an area they are hoping to restore to native Scots pinewood.  It just so happens that many of these trees will be the perfect size for Christmas trees, so volunteers are welcome to take a tree away with them.  Any trees leftover will be taken down to the Visitor Centre for Sunday 14th when we will be have a Festive Family Day making Christmas decorations, listening to our storyteller and singing carols.  If you can help out on either day, please let me know.

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Squirrel tales

Thanks to everyone who came along to our squirrel hunt in Glen Nevis.  Our expert, Juliet Robinson, shared her knowledge about all things squirrely and showed us where they had been in the forest.  Lewis, Nina and Alan allmade fantastic squirrels pictures from leaves and twigs found in the Glen, but Lewis’s squirrel called Bushy was judged to be the winner.

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A busy weekend in the Glen

A small army of Friends of Nevis volunteers were mobilised at the weekend as we tackled various jobs around the Glen.

Joy and Hughie led a dedicated band tidying up the Curling Ponds and removing litter from paths along the river.  Many bags of rubbish were removed, including the  aftermath of numerous parties around Roaring Mill.

Anyone ascending the Ben from Achintee should now see a noticeable improvement in the path from their very first step.  Thanks to our path experts Alan and Dougie and a team of crack volunteers the confusing, muddy hump at the start of the path has been replaced by a beautifully landscaped bit of path.  Helen and Steve came all the way from Kent to help clear drains on the lower part of the path and even had time to help Kirstie and Calum improve the Youth Hostel path on Sunday.

Further up the path, volunteers from the Lochaber Athletic Club joined JMT’s Alison Austin and worked hard clearing drains and removing loose stones all weekend.  Sarah, Steve and Jon showed off by running up to Half Way Lochan as a warm up, and Lucy arrived via Ledge Route on the North Face!  Fortunately they are fit folk and still had energy enough to make a real difference to the path.

Thanks to all our amazing volunteers!

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Moths – the morning after the night before

Just one of the amazing moths found in the Glen Nevis moth trap at our National Moth Day event led by Tom Prescott from Butterfly Conservation.  Tom was on hand to identify all the moths caught and give a glimpse of what goes on in the Glen at night.

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Ben Nevis Medal.

Celebrate your ascent of Ben Nevis with a medal that will remind you of the achievement for years to come.  Friends of Nevis receive a donation for each medal sold, which means you’ll be helping to maintain the path for walkers in the future.  To purchase a medal, click here

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Running repairs

It can take quite a bit of effort just to get to the upper parts of the Ben path let alone do a full day’s work when you get there, so we were delighted when Friends of Nevis stalwarts Helen, Steve, Kirstie and Calum were joined by the fit folk of Lochaber Athletic Club to carry out drain clearance work at the weekend.  We made quite an impact on the drains above Half Way Lochan and Achintee, removing all the gravel that had accumulated over winter.

Thanks to all those who helped on the path and enjoyed a well-earned pint in the pub afterwards.  Our next path weekend will be on the 20th and 21st September.

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Caledonian Challenge Registration

A huge thank you to all our volunteers at the Caledonian Challenge Registration!  The picture shows the calm before the storm as thousands of participants descended on the Nevis Centre to pick up their race numbers and instructions.  A special mention goes to Steve who dressed up as a hound for reasons I still don’t quite understand, but it was obviously essential to the smooth running of the event.

I’m told that the fastest competitors completed the 54 mile course in just 14hrs 8mins and so far £315 000 has been raised for Scottish charities.

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Beautiful Butterflies and Magical Moths

Even heavy rain yesterday couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our intrepid butterfly hunters led by Butterfly Conservation’s Tom Prescott.  Sadly the butterflies weren’t quite so hardy and weren’t prepared to fly in those conditions. Still, with Tom’s expert knowledge of the habitats and behaviour of our native species, it was possible to find the eggs of orange tip butterflies near the visitor centre.

The Wild Lochaber Festival continues all this week with wildlife events across the region.  We’ll be holding our first path repair weekend on the 24th and 25th May to coincide with the festival fair in Glen Nevis, so let us know if you’d like to come along.

There will also be another chance to share Tom’s knowledge at our moth day on the 17th July – see the events page for more details.

Searching for butterflies in Glen Nevis

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