Thursday, 26 November 2015

Beaver shooting must stop. Scottish Wild Beaver Group Press Release.

European beaver feeding © Laurie Campbell
News of the shooting of beavers in Tayside by some farmers has led to an outcry from supporters, conservationists, and animal lovers everywhere. Of especial concern is the fact that, while an overdue decision from Scottish Government to adopt the protection due to the species under the European Habitats Directive, there is not even a closed season and the females can therefore be shot pregnant or lactating, killing kits slowly by starvation.

SWBG call for an immediate moratorium on shooting in advance of an early decision to enshrine EU legal protection of the species in Scotland.

Louise Ramsay, Co-Chair of SWBG says: “We flew a

Monday, 23 November 2015

Initiative with Kew Gardens to Protect Scotland’s Trees Takes Root

Juniperus communis (Common juniper)
With a host of new pests and diseases attacking the UK’s native treescape, a new consortium of Scottish organisations, working with Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, are tackling the threat, as part of the UK National Tree Seed Project.

The UK does not currently have comprehensive and genetically representative seed collections of native tree populations for research and use in practical conservation. The UK National Tree Seed Project, launched in 2013, seeks to fill the gap and will make seed collections available for researchers working on challenges facing UK woodlands and forestry such as pests and diseases and climate change.  The Project

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Emergency tree rescue appeal launched for West Affric woodlands

Trees for Life team inspecting a section of
damaged fence in West Affric
Conservation charity Trees for Life has launched an emergency rescue appeal to protect tens of thousands of young trees on West Affric from grazing deer.

A new generation of trees – many planted by Trees for Life volunteers – has become established on West Affric over the past 20 years, after Trees for Life and the National Trust for Scotland created a series of 10 fenced exclosures. The exclosures – areas from which large grazing animals are excluded – were designed to boost the recovery of native woodland by preventing the pressure of browsing deer.

But recent damage to the fences has left many of these trees vulnerable to grazing by deer, and Trees for Life

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Minke whale baby boom off Scotland’s west coast? Highest number of young recorded since surveys began

Juvenile minke whale alongside HWDT’s research
yacht Silurian - copyright 
Kerry Froud
Sightings of juvenile minke whales off Scotland’s west coast increased in 2015 to the highest ever recorded within a survey season, during marine research expeditions carried out by Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust – indicating either a significant increase in actual numbers or an influx of minke whales from elsewhere.

The charity’s 2015 research season also recorded the highest annual number of common dolphin sightings since its expeditions began, with 723 individuals observed over 63 encounters. The common dolphin was once uncommon in the Hebrides, but the trust’s encounter rate

In Memory of Kali - 6th January 2005 to 22nd July 2015

9 weeks on the doorstep at Scatwell

Kali had been my constant companion for ten and a half years when at the end of June this year she suddenly started having fits.

Epilepsy drugs seemed to work for about three weeks and then the seizures started again with a vengeance and three days later she had gone.

I still haven't quite come to terms with her passing which is why it's taken me three months to post this collection of pictures taken throughout her life.

She was one of the most gentle, even tempered, friendly and attentive beings I have ever had the privilege to know.

She was always a lady even when confronted with people or dogs she obviously didn't take to. Everybody liked her and I absolutely loved her.

I do not want her to be forgotten.

9 weeks and discovering snow for the first time.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Trees for Life emergency appeal to repair damaged deer fences protecting forest regeneration.

Trees for Life are making an emergency appeal for donations to repair damaged fences that are vital to the successful growth of trees that have been successfully recovering for the last 25 years

In the 1990s Trees for Life established a series of 10 fenced exclosures for native forest recovery on West Affric which encompasses the headwaters of the Affric River, in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), and tens of thousands of young trees, planted by volunteers, are now growing successfully there. However, recent damage to the fences has left many of these trees vulnerable to grazing by deer, so Trees for Life are making an urgent appeal to you to help them raise £20,000 for vital repairs to protect them before this winter.

This is an emergency situation, as Trees for Life stand to lose the results of their forest restoration work unless the protection can be reinstated.

Read more and make a donation

Monday, 28 September 2015

Trees for Life project creates conservation opportunities for young people

Phil Duffield from Scottish Power Foundation (centre)
meets Trees for Life volunteers (left-right) Sam Manning,
 Grace Burger, Emily Warner and Rebecca Schmidt
 at Dundreggan Conservation Estate

Award-winning conservation charity Trees for Life is running a new project to develop high-quality conservation volunteering opportunities for young people, thanks to a grant of £20,000 from the ScottishPower Foundation.

Those benefitting from the initiative include students from Peterborough Open Awards Centre, Aberdeen University, Glasgow University and Leicestershire’s Brooksby Melton College.

“This generous grant from ScottishPower Foundation is excellent news for the Caledonian Forest and its rare species, and for dozens of young people who will be able to study and carry out practical hands-on conservation work – including the establishment of native woodlands and managing land for wildlife,” said Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

New project seeks first major boost in Scotland’s red squirrel numbers in decades

Red squirrel © Peter Cairns
An innovative new project by conservation charities Trees for Life and the Highland Foundation for Wildlife aims to secure a major increase in the range of Scotland’s red squirrel populations for the first time in decades.

The Caledonian Forest Wildlife Project – which launches this summer – has the ambitious goal of establishing 10 new populations of the species in the Highlands over the next three years, with the long-term aim of boosting red squirrel numbers in Scotland by more than 10 per cent. It will also provide a unique opportunity for volunteers, including those from remote communities, to take an active

Thursday, 23 July 2015

New eco-designed office in Findhorn for conservation charity Trees for Life

Alex Walker, Managing Director of Ekopia (left) with
Alan Watson Featherstone,
Executive Director of Trees for Life, at the new
eco-designed office in Findhorn
Conservation charity Trees for Life is this week moving into a new environmentally friendly office based at the Findhorn Community near Forres in Moray.

After more than 20 years at its current premises in Findhorn, on Friday 24 July the award-winning charity is moving to a brand new building that has been constructed to high ecological standards, thanks to financial assistance from the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund.

“This is a very important development for us. We are delighted to be moving into this new eco-friendly office, which will provide a warm, welcoming and modern space for our staff and volunteers to work in,” said Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life’s

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Humpback whale spotted in western Scotland’s Firth of Clyde

Humpback Whale in the Firth of Clyde
copyright Elise Rankin
 this is the only image of the whale currently in the Clyde
An adult humpback whale, possibly greater than 12 metres in length, has been sighted in the Firth of Clyde last week – the fifth such whale to be seen off western Scotland in the past month, compared with a usual total of just one or two per year.

The whale was sighted off Tighnabruaich in the Kyles of Bute on 6 July. On 8 July it surfaced alongside the Scottish Ocean Youth Trust’s yacht, spouting and swimmingly strongly in a northward direction into Loch Fyne. The whale was observed breaching out of the water and lob-tailing – a dramatic manoeuvre in which the animal throws its massive tail, up to five metres across, out of the water, creating a huge splash visible for miles. This behaviour could be used for
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This web site is about the wildlife, particularly the mammals, of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve area in the north west Highlands of Scotland, UK; and the equipment I use to search for them, which is chiefly trail cameras.

I provide a technical support and parts service for the Ltl Acorn range of cameras and the income from this provides for the upkeep of this site and the purchase of cameras for my own surveying.

I hope you find the site useful and informative; and please contact me if you have any questions that I haven't already covered.