Firstly, a huge thankyou to all the supporters who have ensured that Friends of Nevis continued to exist and operate through 2021 despite the restrictions and challenges that a second year of Covid has continued to throw at us. This includes volunteers who have come along on work parties, and of course that other group of volunteers, the Chair and Trustees, who keep things running smoothly in the background (and often to be seen at work parties them selves!) In addition our signed up members continued to support the Friends and other individuals and organisations have donated in support of our work. Sadly this year two of our members passed away, Libby Williamson and Andy Davidson. Libby was a well loved, long term member of the Friends of Nevis and Andy, who led groups and individuals on Ben Nevis and other peaks in the area, was keen to find ways to lessen visitor impacts on the hills and support conservation work. Libby's family and friends kindly made donations to Friends of Nevis in her memory.
So, despite a second year of Covid restrictions, Friends of Nevis have continued their activities in Glen Nevis and on Ben Nevis, including regular volunteer work parties helping with path maintenance, litter picking and bracken bashing, and also engagement events. Images and details from some of these are given below:
Litter picks in 2021 included several 'Monday Morning Litter Picks' during the busier summer months and also the regular Friends of Nevis Spring and Autumn events. On one of the hotter summer sessions volunteers were treated to some very welcome ice creams courtesy of Glen Nevis Visitor Centre!
This year Friends of Nevis volunteer Pathwork Parties carried out maintenance on the Allt a Mhuilinn path, Ben Path and also paths in Glen Nevis such as the Lower Falls - Paddies Bridge path. This has helped support the vital work that the NLP seasonal ranger team achieved this year in keeping the paths in good condition.
During the summer Volunteers helped clear American Skunk Cabbage, an Invasive Non Native Species, from a site in Glen Nevis along with a NLP Seasonal Ranger and Highland Council Seasonal Access Rangers. Its a resilient plant so further volunteer work parties will be needed in years to come!
Engagement events this year included a Herbal Walk & Forage with author and practicing Medical Herbalist Clare Holohan, a Fungal Foray with leading Field Mycologist Liz Holden and several bird ringing drop in sessions run by BTO licenced ringers Kirsty Ross and John Owen. In addition Friends of Nevis also held its annual AGM at the end of October, attended by members and supporters, at which Jonathon Hart was the Guest Speaker, who gave an engaging account of his work with Jahama Highland Estates, who are the landowners and managers for much of Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis
As well as supporting volunteer activities, Friends of Nevis have provided financial support this year to Nevis Landscape Partnership including funding for the purchase of 100 square metres of interlocking Aco Groundguard stabilisation tiles. These have been used to stabilise the eastern end of the Riverside All Abilities Path, which had some significant surface damage in floods in September 2020.
Looking ahead to 2022
We are working on the calendar of work parties and engagement events for 2022, which will be posted here before year end and will be available for sign up from our events page. Watch this space!
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