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our path experts Alan and Dougie and a team of crack volunteers the confusing, muddy hump at the start of the path has been replaced by a beautifully landscaped bit of path.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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Keeping the Glen tidy

A huge thank you to everyone who turned out for the litter pick on the 26th and 27th April.  26 volunteers braved the blazing sunshine to tidy the Glen and Curling Ponds and remove a significant amount of rubbish from the area.  This makes a great impact on the appearance of the Glen and the enjoyment of visitors.  Special thanks go to the organisers of the Caledonian Challenge who took time out of their hectic schedule to lend a hand.  We are also very grateful for the support of the Ben Nevis Highland Centre and Lidl, who kept the volunteers refreshed throughout the day and the Highland Council who provided a skip and equipment.

If you a re interested in helping out at future litter picks, then please get in touch.  It is suitable for all abilities and ages – our youngest volunteer this weekend was just three years old!

Ben Path Repairs

RioTinto Alcan are planning repairs on the Ben Nevis path and have asked us to pass on this message:

To all users of the Ben Path; Please be aware of essential work on the two aluminium bridges. Work will commence as of 19 May 2014 for approximately 4 weeks.

 

The path will remain open; however there may be times when it is necessary for your safety to temporarily halt your progress up or down the path. Regular updates will be available from the visitor centre and the information board at Achintee. Please proceed with caution.

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New Coordinator

We have chosen Diane Baum from a number of very talented and experienced applicants. Diane, who also works for Lochaber Fisheries Trust, has lived in the Fort William area for 6  years. Originally a zoologist, in her leisure time Diane is a keen hill walker and excels at hill running; she was 2nd lady in last year’s Ben Race!. Best wishes to Diane in her new post.

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