Hill & Deer
The team have been progressing with Habitat Monitoring. The deer count shows that the stag population has remained steady at 449, maintaining the average over the last 20 years. The figures have been submitted to the South West Deer Management Group and will be reported to the Scottish Government and NatureScot.
Spring works and silage making were enjoyed in good weather. One of the fields has been sown with a brassica crop of fodder rape and stubble turnips to provide some winter fodder for deer and to discourage them from eating tree bark.
Stock handling facilities at the head of the bay are receiving attention, with many of the old wooden barriers being replaced by larch milled locally last year. The Trust is looking to erect a steel framed structure on the concrete entrance to the cattle pens, and the silage bales which are stored during winter are now stacked on new hard standing.
Woodlands and Conservation
- Smiddy Wood
A site visit to plan the restock of Smiddy Wood has taken place. This includes an area of new planting on the east boundary of the felled wood.
- Airigh Drishaig
The woodland scheme at Airigh Drishaig is in its second year but deer ingress continues to prevent any significant regeneration. Intended improvements to the deer fencing were put on hold due to Covid restrictions. Materials have to be taken to site by helicopter, and the logistics and cost of this operation dictates that timing fits with other fencing work.
Amy Clarkson, tenant at Airigh Drishaig, has secured 1000 hazel and 1000 oak saplings (currently at the School) for planting once there is a secure fence. A small section of ground may be fenced with the saplings planted here, or the Oaks at least. That would likely involve running new fences from the existing line, probably in the vicinity of the cottage and where the ground may be more suitable for planting.
Amy is intending to hold an extended Open Day at Airigh Drishaig during the October half-term.
- Arrina Woodland
Discussions have been opened with the Torridon Hotel over a possible lease of the Arrina Woodland site. The hotel uses a woodchip boiler for energy and requires a constant supply of wood and a solution to the curse of large and regular lorry movements along the coast road.
- Wildlife Estates Scotland and The Woodland Trust
During September, the Trust will be participating online in Wildlife Estates’ international congress, and will also be attending a seminar on the work of The Woodland Trust.
Geoff Walker has been working hard to repair the south perimeter dyke which had fallen into disrepair. This section of repair is almost complete and has transformed the look of the area.
Three properties are expected to become available for rent before the end of this year. A decision on allocation has been made on Torgarve Cottage and 8 Milton, with the decision on allocation for Smiddy to be made nearer the time. This single bedded property should be available for use from around the New Year.
Ghillie’s Flat has been kept in reserve. It has proved useful in housing contractors working locally and other seasonal workers over the past few months. The Trust is also looking into the possibilities of purchasing accommodation containers similar to those which can be seen at Kishorn Port. These would aim to offer space to single people and couples.
- · Hartfield
Undergrounding of the proposed electrical and broadband supply to the proposed new mast at the Hartfield Wood End is being costed. When erected, this facility should offer 4G coverage to the area.
- · Kenmore
Heads of Terms have been agreed with WHP, with an overhead power line route to be surveyed by SSE. The development spans both Kenmore and Arrina common grazings.
Kishorn Port Ltd
Negotiations have commenced with Leiths/KPL regarding the rock extraction for expansion of the dry dock and enhanced jetty facilities.
Caravan at Fearnmore
Around 10 years ago a caravan appeared on the car park area of the common grazing. It is not for the Trust to monitor its condition, but its door is now completely off, and a full knife block has been open to view internally. The Trust has written to the Township Clerk seeking the views of shareholders on the matter. The Planning Officer at Highland Council has also been contacted.
Croft 1 Fearnabeg
Notice of the croft assignation application of the MacCuish croft at Fearnabeg to Paul Windust has been received.
Works of repair completed by Gregor and Derek MacLennan have included the creation of a sedum roof. The building is to be rented by Gregor Watson.
Tin Tack Shed, Milton
The lease has not been renewed, and expressions of interest have been received from Community members.
The Roundhouse, damaged for the second time last year, remains in its state of disrepair. Much work went into its planning and construction nearly 10 years ago and there is a wish within the community that it be repaired.
Applecross Trust Youth Scholarship Scheme
Two scholars are being supported this year, and it is hoped that new candidates will apply next year.
Hartfield House Hostel has remained fully booked, working at capacity throughout the summer. Those rooms that are cancelled or still available are almost always rebooked prior to the day arriving. It has, to date, been a fantastic season. A good team of staff, pleasant customers, little in the way of disasters. Feedback so far has been that guests are loving the environmental approach to running the hostel. Hartfield has partnered with Applecross Gym to provide membership for its customers and staff. This is very popular and is proving to be a great asset. It also supports a move towards a more environmental, outdoors, natural hostel with great facilities.
15 September 2021