We have been so busy over here I haven't had a chance to sit down and tell you all about what we have been up to so here goes..
First of all, way back in May we had another excellent bushcraft workshop with the super-talented Pete Long. A mixture of Nevis Trainee Rangers & the general public enjoyed learning how to survive in the wild, build shelters and enjoy tasty wild foods. Thank you to everyone who came along, it's good to go wild now & again!
We continued our walk on the wild side and dabbled in some foraging with Claire, West Highland Herbal. Claire's workshops are always popular, the Herb Walk and Workshop were both fully booked weeks in advance, make a note to book early for the next one! There was plenty of foraging to be done in Glen Nevis and what the group collected with was enough to create lots of edible treats & medicinal lotions back at Friends of Nevis HQ.
We followed up our fortnight of being wild things with some good old fashioned work parties. First up, our volunteers travelled to The Lake District for a weekend in the middle of June to lend a hand to the "Fix the Fells" campaign and make friends with similar organisations, hopefully the folk we met will travel north and return the favour. Next on the cards was our first ever Thistle Camp with National Trust for Scotland, a week-long footpath work party focusing on the Ben Nevis mountain track. The working holiday was booked up, the sun shone all week & the volunteers worked really hard to make a HUGE difference to the track, take a look. If we had used contractors for this it would've cost nearly £30,000, power to the volunteers!
Here at Friends of Nevis we have loved having Ruth, Nicolle, Eliot & Katie come along and lend a hand on almost all of our recent events. The fab four are taking part in The Nevis Training Programme, a ten-week placement in the area offering them essential work experience to gain employment in the environmental sector. We just wanted to say a big thanks for all your help & the long shifts you put in to man the registration desks and marshall the Caledonian Challenge after a hard-week of Thistle Camp'ing. Well done folks!
Phew! So we've covered May through to early July, are you still with us?
We said goodbye to the first lot of volunteer rangers and welcomed four new trainees last month & wasted no time getting them stuck into some of our engagement events including the popular "Bird Ringing & Mist Netting" workshop as part of our Citizen Science programme. A great event and a chance for volunteers and trainees alike to get up close to lots of different bird species and learn how to safely handle and ring the little critters.
We spent last week on a roadtrip around Lochaber bringing bushcraft & environmental games to the wee ones during their rainy summer holidays as part of the excellent Active Schools programme. Ciaran, one of the new trainees, commented on how hardy Lochaber kids were & how completely oblivious they were to the awful weather. All in all a great week of unplugged, natural play which we think the kids of Glencoe, Kinlochleven, Strontian, Arisaig & Fort William enjoyed almost as much as we did, good fun all round.
There you have it folks! A big write-up but I think that's everything from the past wee while that we here at Friends of Nevis have been up to. You are all more than welcome to join in with any of our events, we would love to have you. In fact, this Saturday we are having a Footpath Work Party, if you fancy showing the local mountain paths some love then please sign up here. Keep an eye on here for updates & over on Nevis Landscape Partnership's Facebook page.
All the best, enjoy the weather!
Susan, Friends of Nevis Volunteer Co-ordinator