The Isle of Rum Regeneration Project
Our project will host volunteers to deliver rural regeneration and access enhancement to Kinloch Village on the Isle of Rum, including wheelchair access and visitor facilities.
In addition to enhancing Community Trust land, this project will provide a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to volunteer in a beautiful setting.
1. Community Polytunnel & Orchard
The plastic covering of the Community polytunnel was destroyed in a storm last year (see photo below). We will relocate it to a more sheltered position in the village, where it will be more accessible to residents and visitors. We will plant a new orchard to create an 'edible landscape'.
An increased supply of homegrown fruits and vegetables from the orchard and polytunnel will benefit both visitors and residents. We will clear the new site, then rebuild the polytunnel in its new position ready for our first overwinter crops.
2. Bluebell Wood: This lovely woodland is full of colour every spring when the flowers bloom. The pathways have degraded into bogs after last year’s storms, and new saplings have overgrown parts of the bluebell areas. We will create a circular pathway of sufficient quality for use by wheelchairs and less able people, bridge the wettest area and install two new benches so that people can enjoy this wonderful natural space.
3. Wildlife Garden: The priority is to clean out and delineate the pond, dig a new ditch for pond run-off and build a small sleeper bridge over the ditch by mid-summer.We will then take down the damaged fencing, reinstate the stepping stones in the river, create gravel paths, remove the gorse from the riverbank, build 3 new benches and a yoga/meditation platform and install them by the beginning of autumn.
We want the Garden to be a 'mindfulness' natural space with outdoor sculptures by local residents, where people can sit and enjoy peace and tranquility.
How our project meets the outcomes required by the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ initiative:
Protecting or improving biodiversity: removing sapling clumps in the Bluebell Wood will prevent overshadowing of the flowers. Clearing the grasses and rushes overgrowing the pond will restore it for newts and dragonflies. Clearing vegetation from the rocks in the Wildlife Garden will allow sunlight through for lizards to bask. Cutting back bramble infestations will allow more wild flowers through for butterflies.
Promoting physical activity: this will be achieved not only through the physical work needed by the volunteers to restore the natural spaces, but also by promoting the use of them when the work is finished, and running Ranger walks and wildlife events within them.
Improving wellbeing: new pathways and new benches will allow people, especially those older and less able, to explore more of Rum's natural heritage and to spend time enjoying it. Volunteers will gain valuable experience in nature conservation and countryside management, something that will help them find future employment. An increased supply of homegrown fruits and vegetables from the orchard and polytunnel will benefit the health of visitors and residents.
Skills will be developed, for volunteers and residents, in teamwork and communication, scientific monitoring and recording of data, practical nature conservation and gardening, all of which will help them find employment and/or give them the confidence to start their own businesses.
An improved environment and enhanced economy will promote greater social cohesion and wellbeing for the community of Rum.
Improving access to open spaces by under-represented groups: wheelchair users in particular, are a very under-represented group on Rum, however, we now have disabled facilities in the new Bunkhouse. By upgrading the footpaths to give viable access beyond the main roads, Rum will become a wheelchair-friendly destination.
Now that the Small Isles has the 'Road equivalent tariff' in place, ferry fares are much reduced, making the Isle of Rum an attractive and affordable destination for family outings from Fort William and the surrounding area.
For more details, contact the Ranger at email@example.com but please be aware that all the volunteer positions are now filled.