The Applecross peninsula is a haven for wild animals, both rare and those more widely recognised. The mix of mountains, rivers, estuary, the calm waters of the Inner Sound, bog and peatland, upland and lowland make the area a breeding ground for all manner of creatures, from golden eagles to sea otters and pine martens. This is also the case for salmon and sea trout. In order to ensure protection of their habitat and to encourage these species to flourish, it is crucial to understand their activities. And this is what Marine Scotland Science has been doing - tracking sea trout and salmon smolts within Loch Torridon – and it has produced some fascinating results. Marine Scotland Science tagged… Read more
The Applecross Trust
Lucy Miller, a fourth year undergraduate Geography student at the University of St Andrews has been carrying out investigations on the impacts of land management practices upon saltmarsh carbon stocks. The overall purpose of this project is to question whether a natural balance can be found between profiting management practices, and aiding climate change mitigation. Lucy is concentrating upon nine field sites around the Scottish coastlines as part of her dissertation - including Toscaig's saltmarsh.
Her research includes running a transect (using a measuring tape) from the shoreline through the saltmarsh site and collecting 5 sediment samples from each sector to assess relevant land management practices – i.e. migratory bird activities, … Read more
Plans are being produced for a new woodland creation site along the Allt Mor, on the Applecross Estate.
The woodland at Airigh Drishaig is to be continued under a new grant scheme. This will result in on-going responsibility to enhance woodland regeneration, but the presence of Amy Clarkson (tenant) will give some assurance that the works should prove successful.
Clearance of the gorse and Sitka spruce regeneration from the Smiddy Wood broadleaf area has been undertaken by a local team.
A meeting in Applecross with Community Woodlands is scheduled in January to discuss options for the… Read more
HARTFIELD HOUSE COMPLEX
Hartfield House hostel and The Bunkhouse remain open for bookings until 4 January 2020 when they will close for two months for refurbishment works. The hostel has been busy throughout the autum but is quieter as winter approaches, which has enabled time to be spent on a thorough refresh. Upgrading the Bunkhouse is underway with rooms being given a fresh coat of paint and all areas being deep cleaned. New signage is being produced, a disabled toilet has been added, and sheds/outbuildings are being cleared in order to provide bike storage, bike and walking wash down area, and a drying room. Work is soon to start on a new roof and windows for the large… Read more
HILL & DEER Radio Access to the Bealach mast allowed Hill & Estate Radio’s engineer to assess the condition of the apparatus to establish the reason why the estate radios have not been working recently. The repeater and antenna – the two main components of the system – required to be replaced. The site is susceptible to lightening strike, with the result that the antenna has had to be replaced 3 times in the past 20 years. Stalking staff
Kenneth MacKenzie has joined David Abraham again this year as 2nd stalker and they are joined, principally by Georgia Carrington and Gregor Watson as ghillies. Sea Eagle Scheme
Scottish Natural Heritage operate a… Read more
Hartfield House has been repainted and the grounds maintained. The hostel continues to be very busy with guests, and everyone is working hard over the summer season. Staff accommodation is being created and some of the old storage containers repaired or removed. Hartfield House has now been split into 4* hostel in the main house, and The Bunkhouse, a self contained building offering good basic accommodation for groups and individuals. A new brand for Hartfield House has now been agreed and will be rolled out over the coming weeks.
Experts, David Leat and Chris Wright, from Northumberland, are studying the bird life around the Clachan path area of the Estate.… Read more
The Trust attended a meeting with the Highland Council and the Applecross Community Company on 17 June to discuss the Community Land Use Plan produced by Planning Aid Scotland. The Plan (named Plan-it Applecross) is being finalised for adoption, with details to be presented by the Community Company at the next Applecross Forum meeting on 2 October.
Hartfield House hostel
The hostel is busy with guests, and the staff team is enthusiastic about the future. More substantial works will wait until the summer season has ended, but small improvements are being made. The flower beds to the front have been dug, and new plants planted. The parking area has… Read more
Four of the Applecross Fold of Highland Cattle have found a new home in Wales. A farmer has purchased three heifers and a young bull from the Applecross fold, and taken them back to his farm in North Wales. This is one of several returning customers in the British Isles and even Europe to take ownership of the Applecross Highland Cattle. The Applecross Fold has been in existence since the early 1600s, and great care is taken over their wellbeing, with calves often being hand reared, and all provided with fresh pastures, and nourishing feed.
Below is the first of a series of proposed updates from the Applecross Trust, with the aim of providing insight into some of the activity that has been taking place.
Planning Aid Scotland - Plan-It Applecross
The Trust has shared with the Community Company its response to the consultation on the draft Community Land Use Plan which was issued on 3rd May. All responses are to be considered in detail at a meeting with Higland Council on 17th June.
There is a plan to develop allotments on a patch of ground close to the hydro. The Allotment Group is community run, and the… Read more
The Applecross Trust, a charity that owns and manages the 26,000ha estate on the Applecross peninsula, has appointed Jess Whistance as its new Marketing Manager.
The Applecross Trust is looking to the future, building on the progress that has already been made to develop partnerships within the Applecross community. It is keen to prioritise good communication as the key to a harmonious and productive relationship, and Jess will be a part of making that happen. Jess will be managing the Applecross Trust’s website, providing regular updates on progress and projects, as well as heading up the marketing for its new venture, Hartfield House hostel.
Jess, previously Marketing Manager at Scottish charity, Venture Trust,… Read more
Clear felling of Smiddy wood, on the Applecross estate, will shortly begin. Undertaken by Scottish Woodlands, this will take place earlier than originally planned, but fits with the timings as laid out in the Applecross Trust’s Long Term Forest Plan. Key dates are as follows:
13 May 2019: timber harvester to arrive at Keppoch and cutting at roadside to begin. Felling to begin mid-May.
15 May 2019: work to begin on bell mouth and forest track. Groundworks to be completed mid-June.
Timber haulage is due to take place from mid-May for a three-month period and will be limited to 1.5-2 lorries per day, leaving via the coast road. Disruption will be kept to a minimum… Read more
The Applecross Trust is looking for an enthusiastic and capable individual to undertake a range of general estate duties. Based in Applecross, the successful applicant will be self-motivated and able to work effectively with time constraints, both independently or as part of a small team.
Applicants possessing a trade or experience with operating plant and machinery will have an advantage. Flexibility to work irregular hours is important and a driving license is essential.
Salary level is according to skill and experience.
See full list of duties
Closing date: Thursday 15th November 2018
For further information contact Mr. D.A. MacLellan on 07484 047250 or email: email@example.com
The young calves pictured are a set of twins, born on 27th February to Anabel bhuidhe of Applecross who is 9 years old. The sire is Aonghas Dubh of Ardbhan. The other set of twins (not pictured) are from the mother of the dam, Annabel 3rd and Ewen of Callahally. All offspring are heifers.
The in-depth strategic review and public consultation exercise which commenced in January 2016 has now been completed with the help and assistance of Strath Caulaidh Limited.
The Shared Community Vision and 10 year plan
Arthur Macdonald became a Trustee in June 2017. Arthur is a Torridon crofter and currently chair of his Township Committee. He spent 7 years with the Crofter’s Commission where one of his roles involved managing the team responsible for addressing crofter absenteeism under the 1993 Crofting Act and developing procedures for dealing with duties under the 2010 Act. Between 1995 and 2009 he managed the Crofting Community Development Scheme for the Crofters Commission and was directly involved in the extensive woodland establishment project between the Trust and the North Applecross crofting townships where he performed an important role in developing collaboration between all parties. Arthur’s previous roles have included being a National Farmers Union (NFU) area secretary and Training Advisor with… Read more
I plan to stand down as Chairman and as a Trustee of the Applecross Trust and will formally issue my resignation at the upcoming Trust Meeting later this week.
My lifelong association with Applecross, and that of my family, has made this a very difficult decision and one which has taken considerable time to arrive at. I have thought long and hard about what is best for Applecross, for the Trust, and for myself and my family, and think the time is right to pass on the baton.
The decision is taken largely on personal grounds but, in addition, Chairmanship of the Trust requires a level of input which I no… Read more
Estate Office House, an old keystone building on the estate, is being renovated for use as a holiday let from 2017. For 2017 holiday bookings please contact Cottages & Castles or the Trust.
The Applecross Trustees will hold a Public Meeting in Applecross Hall on Wednesday 7th at 7pm. Douglas Campbell and Carron Tobin who are carrying out a 10 year plan for the estate will be contributors. All welcome.
Members of the Swiss Highland Cattle Breeders visited Applecross recently. The main purpose of their visit was to see the World renowned herd of Highland Cattle, considered to be the oldest in the Country. Farm manager, Michael Summers, took the visitors on a tour of the herd, followed by lunch at the Walled Garden.
Loch Ness Rural Communities are very grateful to the Applecross Trust for allowing us to take Archie and Oscar, their stalking ponies, to Invergarry Games on 2nd July. Our local ponies were still away for the winter so the Applecross pair had their winter break in Strathpeffer cut short for a guest appearance as stunt doubles. Although initially reluctant to get up and go that morning, they were certainly the star attraction and people from all over the world came over to ask about them. Their behaviour was also impeccable, walking past the tannoy, fairground ride, bouncy castle and sack
race like it was an everyday Applecross occurrence. Loch Ness Rural Communities is a group representing local… Read more
The Trust has submitted an application for Outline Planning approval for the erection of 2 semi-detached houses next to the farm steading at Applecross. Further information can be found on the Highland Council website. Application reference 16/01585/PIP.
Anyone with any queries is welcome to discuss them with Archie MacLellan.
The Applecross river has been identified as a potentially significant site for learning about some important aspects of salmon biology. The behaviours of salmon and trout as they leave Scottish rivers, and the challenges they face on their seaward migrations, are largely unknown.
Following a pilot study in 2015, Marine Scotland Science, the government body charged with obtaining information about the marine environment, is continuing with the investigation of the behaviour of salmon as they emigrate from the Applecross river. “The river is almost unique on the west coast in that it flows more or less directly into the open sea rather than through a narrow sea loch,” Dr David Morris of Marine Scotland Science explained, “this situation… Read more
The Applecross Trust recently sought tenders for the production of a strategic Estate Plan which assesses the economic performance of the business and presents opportunities for development which are in line with Trust objectives. The successful applicant was Strath Caulaidh and their representatives have started work on this during January. Early stage processes will involve consulting with the Applecross communities.
While stocks last, the Applecross Trust are providing hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn, willow and rowan saplings free of charge to all crofters for planting during this winter. Whether it is for shelter, sustainable long term wood supply, plans for a woodland croft or just for the love of trees, contact Archie Maclellan on 01478 613489 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The project is currently underway and the end of 2014 saw most of the trees harvested and transported around the north Applecross Coast by Ferguson Transport’s high spec lorries. Mulching of the site is in the process of being carried out and new planting of native trees will start after a new perimeter fence is erected in February 2015.
The new path which dissects the site is already popular with walkers and mountain bikers.
In addition to the new 40 hectare Gateway site, a further 35 hectares of native woodland is being planted by the Applecross Trust which will lie adjacent and form a single woodland designed to provide enhanced environmental and aesthetic… Read more
The behaviours of salmon and trout as they leave Scottish rivers, and the challenges they face on their seaward migrations are largely unknown. Marine Scotland Science, the government body charged with obtaining scientific information about the marine environment, is embarking on a study to examine this important question. The Applecross river may have a key role to play. Marine Scotland scientist David Morris explained: “The river is almost unique on the west coast in that it flows more or less directly into the open sea rather than through a narrow sea loch. This situation is ideal for starting to look at the directions that salmon smolts take as they enter the ocean.” Pilot work will be undertaken this year… Read more