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Applecross Trust monthly update

15 November 2019

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 hall, and en-suite facilities will be added to some of the rooms in the New Year.

 

MASTS

There have been new masts added in Milltown, and in the Glen. The mast at Milltown will improve 4G coverage in the south Applecross area. The mast in the Glen is, at present, for emergency services only.

 

SEA EAGLE SCHEME

Scottish Natural Heritage operate a compensation-based scheme for farmers and crofters who experience lamb losses from Sea Eagles. A breeding pair have a nest on the coastline between Toscaig and Uags although their attempts at breeding this year have been unsuccessful.
 
There may be potential for Toscaig crofters to apply for such a scheme, if they suggest they are losing lambs. It is less clear how the Trust could engage directly. However, ‘positive’ actions such as leaving deer carcasses on the hill or building look-out platforms near to nests could be assessed for grant aid on a case by case basis.
 
 

FARM

The Trust team have completed replacing the stock fencing around the Policy fields.
 
The cattle are being fed silage daily now that the winter is drawing in. Sandy Munro, the silage contractor cut silage at the end of August. Grass volumes were adversely affected this year by high numbers of geese. Normally Sandy arrives with all the equipment required on trailers which resembles something from a biblical caravan. However, he has had to change his strategy in order to reduce the impact of tourists by basing himself at Russel and coming over the Bealach with individual pieces of kit; mower, baler etc as required.

 

GENERAL 

Bird survey: David Leat, a professor at Newcastle University, was recently staying in Applecross and asked if he could ring some young birds. He found a great number of small birds and suggested that the young native woodland near Clachan was providing a very favourable habitat for many types of birds.  A copy of his findings will be found shortly on the Trust website.
 

Hall Fencing: the Trust team carried out some fencing at the village hall which has created an enclosed play area for the nursery children. Materials were purchased by the nursery group.

 

Wood: as with every year, the Trust team have begun chopping and delivering wood to the pensioners of Applecross.

 

ARIGH DRISHAIG

Amy Clarkson is the new tenant of the cottage at Arigh Drishaig. Amy is carrying out a doctorate from Glasgow University based around ‘rewilding the self.’ Amy will be looking at re-wilding the landscape, as well as planting trees, repairing the fence line, monitoring deer population and encouraging wildlife. Amy is researching the history of the area, and the effects of the landscape on the culture of inhabitants.

 

WAR MEMORIAL

The Applecross War Memorial was put in place in 2018 by The Applecross War Memorial Group, with support from community members, the Applecross Historical Society and the Applecross Trust. In November 2019 an interpretive board was produced by the War Memorial Group and erected by the Trust team. This is a fitting tribute to those community members who gave their lives for our freedom. As in 2018, there was a well-attended Remembrance ceremony at the memorial on Sunday 10 November.