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Applecross Trust monthly update

23 October 2019

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 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 are replacing stock fencing around the Policy fields at present.
 
Cattle are in the Glen for the Summer. 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 

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.
 
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.