On Friday 30th October Friends of Nevis held their AGM, this year online using the Nevis Landscape Partnership's Zoom account. We had 19 admissions to the meeting online which represented over 20 attendees. Whilst it couldn't replace the atmosphere of the usual AGM get together, the online meeting allowed some far flung Friends to join, including stalwart supporters Helen and Steve in Kent and our excellently named supporter Patrick Nevis, all the way from California! Joy Biggin, the Friends of Nevis Chair, gave a run down of activities over the last 12 months and Steve McCabe presented the year's financial activities. Whilst income has been reduced over the last 12 months due to less visitors during the national lockdown, there has been a reduced amount of project work requiring support during that period. Overall therefore Friends of Nevis remain able to support work on the Ben and in the Glen. One aspect of support that has grown has been local mountaineering guides contributing via pay pal, whenever they take groups up the Ben. A leader in this has been locally based Hunter Mountaineering and Ben Nevis Guides, many thanks!
Friends of Nevis volunteers Fiona, Roger and Emma joined NLP Ranger Katie and Volunteer Coordinator Rory for a Monday Morning litter sweep of the paths on either side of the lower Nevis this morning. The river had burst its banks on Sunday (see picture below by Katie) so the paths were generally clear but there was rubbish caught up in unusual places such as trees and branches. Five bags collected We also had time for a quick nip around the Visitor Centre Car Park which yielded another couple of bags full.
5 hardy Friends of Nevis braved the inclement weather this Monday morning to do their bit to keep the glen clean and tidy. Splitting into 3 teams we scoured the Claggan to Achintee road and both sides of the Glen Road, including a foray into Braveheart Car Park. We returned via the riverside path and Roaring Mill just to complete the usual 'hot-spots'. We collected 6 bin bags of the usual litter which varied from sweetie wrappers to things you really don't want to know about. Overall however the level of litter is dropping off in the hot spot areas, after being visited regularly.
We timed our return just in time for the delivery of the Clean Up Scotland / Keep Scotland Beautiful community litter hub kit to Nevis Landscape Partnership (see picture below): If you'r group want to clear up your local 'patch' in Lochaber just get in touch 😃
Friends of Nevis Monday Morning Litter Pick Volunteers on return from their succesful clean up of the Lower Glen.
Lochaber Community Litter Hub Kit. If you have a local patch in the area that you want to clean up or want to get involved with the Great British September Clean get in touch with email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Details of Great British September Clean can be found on the Keep Scotland Beautiful website https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/
Friends of Nevis volunteers Fifi and Eilidh joined forces with Rory and NLP Rangers Lauren and Bianca to lay waste to the bracken in one of the Future Forests exclosures under Polldubh crags.
It was also a good way of checking how the trees in the exclosure are getting on. After a mornings work the smaller trees were able to see the light again and the bracken suppressed for another year. We also came across, and were careful to avoid cutting plenty of other vegetation including regenerating Oak, Ash, Birch, numerous of clumps of Hard Fern and a number of herbs such as Wood Sage, Foxglove, Scabious and Honeysuckle.
If you are keen get involved head on over to our Events Page https://www.nevislandscape.co.uk/local/events to register and / or sign up. Our next work party is on Saturday October 3rd and our next Monday Morning Litter Pick with free places is on Monday 14th September.
Joy, Hughie and Fiona from the Friends of Nevis volunteered their time this morning to help clear up paths in the Lower Glen after the busy August Bank Holiday weekend. Joining them were NLP Seasonal Rangers Lauren and Bianca and also Volunteer Coordinator Rory.
The team split into three pairs to concentrate on the riverside path past Roaring Mill to the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre and also both sides of the road from the curling ponds to the visitor centre. Today's hot-spots for rubbish were from the Claggan Spar shop to Roaring Mill and along the roadside on the west side of the river, which hasn't had a major clean up this season.
Overall 7 bin bags were filled with rubbish and a bucketful of glass bottles collected. Highlife Highland allowed us to use their landfill bins which was much appreciated.
A big thanks to volunteers Joy, Fiona and Hughie , pictured below with Seasonal Rangers Lauren and Bianca.
If you want to help out on any of the coming Mondays in September just sign up on the Events page or drop an email to rory (email@example.com)
For the next few Mondays Friends of Nevis will be running some Monday Morning Litter Picks, starting from Monday 31st August. These will concentrate on the lower level paths in the Glen, eg Curling Ponds, Roaring Mill, Riverside & All Ability Path, Lower Falls to Paddy's Bridge. Check out the Events page if you want to take part.
Today saw the first Friends of Nevis volunteer work party since lock-down began in March. Friends of Nevis volunteer regulars Ali and Paul (pictured below) turned out to help 'bracken bash' in the Future Forests planting exclosures in Glen Nevis. As you can see it was an overcast and midgey start but after a short while the sun burned its way through and chased them away. Two more exclosures were cleared of bracken, giving the mix of Oak, Hazel, Rowan, Aspen and Scots Pine planted in them a helping hand.
A big thanks to Ali and Paul for their efforts today!
Why not check out the events page and sign up for the next volunteer work party on Saturday 5th September?
Volunteer Events Update from Rory Stewart, Volunteer Coordinator
With Scotland currently in 'Phase 3' of its Covid-19 response it is now possible for limited volunteer activities to resume, albeit with some special measures to safeguard and support staff, volunteers and the general public.
I have recently collaborated with Nathan Berrie (pictured above), from the John Muir Trust Ben Nevis team, to run a series of trial volunteer work parties with small groups of local volunteers. These have proved very successful and have provided an opportunity to get some 'local heroes' back out into the Glen and up the Ben, to help with vital work.
After consulting with Joy Biggin, Chair of Friends of Nevis Trustees, we are posting Friends of Nevis Volunteer Work Party dates onto the calendar for the 12th August, 5th September, 3rd October. These will be tackling core tasks such as bracken bashing, path maintenance and clearing litter.
There are some important features of the work parties to be aware of:
The Friends of Nevis AGM is scheduled for Friday October 30th. We have a guest speaker and venue provisionally booked.
It is very likely that the format of this year's event will be different than previous years so watch this space for more details.
Autumn Litter Pick
The 2020 Glen Nevis Autumn Litter Pick is scheduled for Sunday 22nd November. Details of arrangements will be available nearer the date.
In support of the current restrictions in place to combat the spread of Corona Virus Friends of Nevis are postponing all events and work parties until further notice.
This includes the April litter pick.
Once the situation has eased and restrictions on movement have been lifted we will reschedule a litter pick, path work-parties and conservation work-parties.
We are also hoping to reschedule the Bumble-bee workshop although this may not happen until 2021
Stay safe and well!
Thank you to everyone who has given up their time to volunteer for Friends of Nevis this year.
A special mention must go out to Helen and Steve, work colleagues, who have been travelling up 2-3 times a year from Kent. This was their 10th year of helping Friends of Nevis. It’s always great to see them and hear how they got on travelling up from Kent by bus and train. Their journeys very rarely go smoothly but that does not stop them getting out into Glen Nevis or up the Ben, volunteering their time. Some of the jobs Helen and Steve have got up to include clearing drains on various parts of the Ben, putting in picnic benches at the curling pond, helping sell raffle tickets, tidying up the curling pond dressing up as Caledonian Challenge Hiking Hound mascot to managing our Facebook page. When they were recently up for the AGM it was a pleasure to go clearing drains on the Ben path with Helen and Steve. From Friends of Nevis thank you Helen and Steve!
All the best for 2020. Cheerie Kirstie
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