This past weekend a few people were lucky enough to benefit from a Bushcraft and Outdoor Living Skills course ran by Pete Long from Grantown on Spey. Pete works as a freelance Instructor for the Adventure Tourism company Wilderness Scotland. The course is part of the Community Engagement project ran by Friends of Nevis in partnership with Nevis Landscape Partnership
The group enjoyed learning about the essential basics to living in the outdoors and basic survival skills without causing too great an impact on the environment and followed a Leave no Trace philosophy. We built a shelter followed by fire over which we grilled trout and made bread finishing off of course with marshmallows (not found in the woods!) We learnt a lot about the flora and fauna of the area.
We evidenced the work of others who had left a trail of destruction behind them, remains of a shelter, clothes line, glass bottles and badly scarred trees where they definitely did not have a ‘leave no trace fire’ as we did. The group did a great job tidying the area up and leaving it better than we found it.
‘ The thing to be known grows with the knowing’
From The Living Mountain - Nan Shepherd
Saturday 19th September was a busy day for Friends of Nevis Volunteers and Members. Friends of Nevis along with John Muir Trust ran work parties to cover several area’s of Ben and Glen Nevis. John Muir Trust did a litter pick at the summit of Ben Nevis along with path maintenance around the Red Burn area of the Ben. Down in the Glen, Friends of Nevis were working on tidying up the curling ponds area whilst another work party were working on the Allt a Mhuillin track. Helen and Steve from Kent made their third trip up of the year to support friends of Nevis and Helen celebrated her birthday whilst working on the footpaths! A busy, productive and rewarding day. Thank you very much to all who got involved.
In the evening members and supporters of Friends of Nevis gathered at Cafe Beag in the Glen for their AGM. A nice evening to catch up on what Friends of Nevis have done over the past year along with plans for the next few years with support of Nevis Landscape Partnership delivering the Community Engagement Project. The meeting was followed by an interesting and inspiring talk from Dave MacLeod, a local and world renown climber. The evening finished with a delicious buffet supplied by Cafe Beag.
The footpath work parties are on a roll now. 12 people in total turned out for continuing work on the Allt a Mhuillinn, the track up into the North Face of Ben Nevis. A real mix of people, Nevis Landscape Partnership’s Volunteer Rangers along with a faithful bunch of returning volunteers along with a couple of new volunteers. Many cross drains and water bars were cleared out. Many full with silt and rocks and obviously hadn’t been done for a while. This indicated how important it is for continual maintenance following on from the construction work by contractors. Other parts of the track were pitched and improved. Many appreciative comments were given by those out using the path. Maybe next time they would like to come and join us….
Another trusty group of volunteers re-visited the Allt a’ Mhuilinn track recently for some footpath maintenance. Kirstie and Callum returned to add to their work from last month and were joined by Charlotte and Peter and coordinator Susan, all ably led by Nevis Landscape Partnership’s Dougie Sinclair. A great and very rewarding day was had by all. Thanks to all involved for your hard work. It is nice to hear comments where people have noticed the improvements on the path. Another date is scheduled for July 25th, come along and give it a try….
On Saturday 13th - Sunday 14th June 2015 some 1,700 walkers and their support crews descended on Scotland’s world-renowned West Highland Way and Great Glen Way for the 19th Caledonian Challenge comprising two events: THE 54 that tests teams physically and mentally to complete 54 miles of gruelling terrain within 24 hours and THE 24 challenging teams to walk 24 miles within 12 hours.
Once again Friends of Nevis volunteers were involved with the registration of the event which in turn raised money for Friends of Nevis. 13 volunteers turned out for the Friday registration and Steve and Helen travelled all the way from Kent to support us on the Friday and early on the Saturday for the start of the event. Steve one again donned his ‘Hound Dog’ Outfit to support the participants and their support crew, not the best outfit for one of our hottest days, well done Steve! Thank you to all our volunteers, look forward to seeing you again next year….
Hardy and dedicated volunteers headed out on the Allt a’ Mhuilinn track recently for some footpath maintenance. This track leads in to the North Face of Ben Nevis. This area is popular year round including the winter months where climbers are attracted to the North Face for World Class climbing. The track was in need of a lot of maintenance following on from the winter. Another day is planned here for 13th June. If you would like to get involved, have a great day out, meet like-minded people and do something to help protect this incredible area then please get in touch.
An interesting and informative day was had by all who attended the Wild Herb Walk and Workshop ran by Clare Holohan from West Highland Herbals http://www.westhighlandherbal.com/
Weather held off for a successful day enjoyed by a range of ages. Thank you to all who attended and especially to Clare for her expertise.
Pupils from Lochyside RC Primary School in Fort William spent a morning in Glen Nevis recently. The pupils had taken part in an art competition arranged by Friends of Nevis to design an anti-litter sign which they unveiled and the poster will stand in the Visitor Centre grounds. Funding for the posters came from Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Highland Council Rangers helped support the day by running environmental activities for the children such as pond dipping, garden bird treasure hunt and a scavenger hunt. Many thanks to all involved and let’s hope the message from the pupils to keep Glen Nevis tidy will work!
Friends of Nevis held its annual Spring Clean of the Glen and Curling Pond area this past weekend. The weather turned wintry again however more than 20 hardy souls turned up to support this event from age 5 upwards.
Rubbish was collected from all over the Glen from the top car park to Braveheart car park but especially from the area above the Roaring Mill. This popular area is suffering from those failing to take their litter home. The Curling Pond area has also benefited from the Spring Clean. Lets hope people will continue to take responsibility for the area and keep it looking good.
A great way to meet others and give something back to this stunning area. Friends of Nevis volunteers continue to work hard to protect their local environment. Well done to all involved and thanks to Ben Nevis Highland Centre, Lidl, the Highland Council (for a skip and the loan of litter pickers) and all who took part!
Recently saw the celebration of Friends of Nevis through a successful annual dinner at the Pine Martin restaurant. The following day was welcomed with fantastic spring like weather for a guided walk to Dun Deardail. Several people enjoyed the informative walk led by Archaeologist Matt Ritchie from the Forestry Commission. Matt explained about the archaeological investigation which will take place over the next three years as one of the projects supported by Heritage Lottery Funding.
Highlight of day was the opportunity to award our very hard-working and dedicated Treasurer Bob Aitken the Friends of Nevis Volunteer of the Year Award. Congratulations Bob!