always something new to discover.
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Rum Deer Diary on Autumnwatch - October 2012

29-10-2012

Percy (c) Sean MorrisCaesar (c) Ali MorrisThis year, the BBC Autumnwatch film crew have returned to Kilmory to follow the highs and lows of the red deer rut.  Two cameramen faced the elements to work alongside the deer researchers from Edinburgh and Cambridge Universites in collecting this year's stories.

Autumnwtch first broadcast from Rum in 2006, introducing this special time of year safely into people's homes.  They returned to record a Deer Diary in 2007 and in 2009 alongside the film crew, live webcams were used to follow the action.

 

Autumnwatch will start it's four night run on October 30th and will be shown on at 2000hrs on BBC2.

More information on the Rum Red Deer Project can be found here.
Have a look at theBBC Autumnwatch website here.

 

Blasda - September 2012

26-09-2012

On Saturday 15th September we celebrated Rum Blasda - our participation in a Scotland-wide celebration of local food. We had a full and delicious day living up to the name Blasda - which is gaelic for tasty. sweet and appetising.
Blasda table (c) Nic Goddard

All day in the community hall we had a table laden with produce from the island - it included foraged mushrooms, home grown salad, potatoes and veggies, freshly laid duck and chicken eggs from Croft 3, a huge selection of jams, jellies, syrups, pickles and preserves all made with Rum ingredients, home brewed drinks and more.

 


 

 

 

Vikki's garden (c) Nic Goddard

During the afternoon four Rum residents held Open Gardens where we got to have a good look round their growing spaces, ask questions and learn from each other. Vikki showed us round her small but highly productive garden, Jinty talked to us about her micro-holding - a back garden crammed with beekeeping, chicken rearing (including 12 adorable new chicks), a selection of raised beds and home built polytunnels - a real 'permaculture in action' example. Ali shared her extended garden space with us - fruit trees, raised beds, polytunnel, wild areas, fruit bushes, herb garden, cold frame and more. Nic, Ady, Davies & Scarlett showed us round Croft 3 which is still very much a work in progress just a few months in but already has plenty of livestock including ducks, geese, chickens and a lovely breeding pair of kune-kune cross Old Spot pigs. We got to see their plans for the croft next year and walked a little of their croft land seeing where things are destined to be started in the spring.

 

 

 

 

 

pot luck supper (c) Nic GoddardWe followed this with a fabulous Pot Luck supper in the community hall - attended by 18 people we dined in style on fantastic Rum fayre. A choice of three soups (all using home grown veggies from the island) acccomanied by home baked bread, followed by a choice of four main dishes - Rum venison stuffed marrow, veggie quiche, vegetable curry and marinated mackrel. All grown, caught, hunted, fished, laid and made on island. We enjoyed home grown salad along with home made mayonnaise and a selection of chutneys, pickles and other tasty morsels to go along with our meal. Dessert was a triple layer sponge cake, 'Brumble' (foraged bramble crumble) and Snhapple tart (apples from the SNH garden) served with home made custard using free range eggs from Croft 3.

Bellies full, plates clean and palates truly treated Blasda was declared indeed  tasty, sweet and appetising! Many remarked on just how self sufficient the island is in our food production with all of the open garden participants sharing bigger and better plans for seasons to come. We are also lucky to have such great bakers, cooks, picklers and preservers here in our community able to turn our fantastic raw ingredients into such a delicious feast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plans for Slipway Refurbishment - September 2012

10-09-2012

The Highland Council Logo

 

MARINE (SCOTLAND) ACT 2010

Marine Construction: Slipway Refurbishment

 

Notice is hereby given that The Highland council has applied to the Scottish Ministers of the Scottish Government, under Part 4 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, in respect of slipway refurbishment at:

 

 

Description

Latitude

Longitude

Location

Co-ordinates

Co-ordinates

Loch Scresort

57° 00.633’N

57° 00.629’N

57° 00.594’N

57° 00.598’N

06° 16.261’W

06° 16.249’W

06° 16.286’W

06° 16.299’W

 

 

 

                                                            (WGS84)

 

Plans showing the position of the works may be inspected at the Shop

Objections relating to safety of navigation or environmental issues in respect of the application should be made in writing to:

 

Licensing Operations Team, Marine Scotland, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB within 28 days of the date of this notice or by email: MS.MarineLicensing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk, quoting reference:

FKB/A1363

Highland Council Harbours

Harbours HQ

Lochinver Harbour

Lochinver

IV27 4LE

01571 844800

The plans can also be seen by following these links:
Location Plan and Extent of Works
Proposed Works Sheet 1
Proposed Works Sheet 2

 

Lights off for Manx Shearwaters on Rum - September 2012

01-09-2012

Manx Shearwater chick (c) Sean MorrisManx Shearwater chick (c) Sean MorrisSeptember is the month when the majority of Manx shearwater chicks fledge (leave the nest) from the huge colony in the mountains of Rum.  This year looks like being a very good year as many of the burrows in the study areas are occupied by heavy very healthy chicks.  
Unfortunately every year a number of young birds are disorientated by outside lights left on in Kinloch and surrounding villages, particularly Mallaig.  These birds often crash land close to the light source and many are then killed by gulls, crows, cats or dogs.  Local people can help the birds by turning off any unnecessary outside lights and drawing curtains to reduce the amount of light escaping through windows.
Any birds that are found on the ground in Kinloch can be handed to Mike the ranger or to Sean (if you find the bird late at night it can be kept in a cardboard box overnight) who will ring them and release them safely away from predators.

Birds that are found in Mallaig can be handed to Martin Carty at the Moorings (tel 01687 462225).  Martin will be out throughout September searching for crashed birds all over Mallaig.  He sometimes rescues 200 birds in a season that would otherwise be killed by gulls and other predators in Mallaig.

Amazingly it will only take these young birds a couple of weeks to reach their wintering grounds off the coast of South America.

 

Ranger Spring and Summer Review - August 2012

24-08-2012

It has been a busy summer of sightings and we are thrilled to have seen some basking sharks this season.  IRCT Ranger Mike Werndly gives a quick round up of Spring and Summer 2012.

A good late spring record of a long-eared owl at the Harris tree plot on May 22nd was a welcome change for some.  Two adult Orca were seen off Muck on the 25th June and five were seen again on July 4th.  Four bottle-nosed dolphins were also spotted off Eigg that same day.  Basking sharks have been a wee bit more numerous this season, but still only a handful of records for Rum, including singles in Loch Scresort on 13th and 14th July, and a whopping five seen in the waters off Kilmory on July 21st.

Our White-tailed (Sea) Eagles failed this breeding season, and two pairs of Golden Eagles bred, but only one was successful, fledging one chick.  Other breeding successes include one pair of Greenshank, Short-Eared Owl, Hen Harrier, Merlin, and at least ten pairs of Red-Throated Divers.  Arctic terns did well too, with over ten pairs nesting at Kilmory. 

Other notables include a possible breeding Spotted Flycatcher which was seen on numerous occasions around the Village during May, June and July.   Maybe it was tempted by our warmer, drier summer conditions and the subsequent abundance of insects.

Autumn migration is now underway with a flock of 50+ Twite at Harris on the 5th August and two juvenile Dotterel on Barkeval on the 18th August.

After a lovely warm and dry spring and early summer, Rum had a reprieve from the voracious Midge through most of July.  Rain later in the month, and a wetter August have meant they are now back with a vengeance.  However, we will all remember those beautiful July evenings where we could sit out and relax, rather than just watch out of the window.

For a more detailed report visit Mike’s blog here.

 

Conservation Volunteers Wanted - August 2012

23-08-2012

Volunteer Weekend: Friday 19th-Monday 22nd October 2012

The Isle of Rum Community Trust Ranger Service is looking for 6 volunteers to assist with Rhododendron clearance (using the Lever and Mulch technique).

Rhododendron sp. (c) Mike WerndlyWe would prefer applicants to have some experience in this field already i.e., students and trainee land managers who would like more to add to their CV.However, other applications will be considered. You will need to be physically fit, have a good sense of humour and an interest in the environment.

Successful applicants will be provided with accommodation for the duration of their stay (in our new cabins) and ferry tickets to and from the island (you will have to make your own way to Mallaig our nearest port), and everyone will be rostered on for cooking  duties (1 in 3 not bad).

The evenings will be free, so plenty of time to explore. The island has red-throated divers, golden eagles, otters and many other interesting species.

If this is for you please send a CV and short covering letter/e-mail to Mike Werndly volunteering@isleofrum.com or IRCT Office Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum, Inverness-shire PH43 4RR by 1st Oct 2012.

Successful applicants will hear back by 7th Oct at the latest.

 

A Big Step Forward - August 2012

18-08-2012

At long last Rum residents are now able to recycle some plastics.  This is a great step forward and we hope that with time we will be able to recycle more than just our plastic bottles, no lids though, as these are a different type of plastic.  Until now, our recycling facilities have only included glass and tins.  

Highland Council tell us that we can put our plastic bottles in with the tin cans.  Excellent.

Midgefest - Saturday 4th August

31-07-2012

Midgefest 2012 was a great success - read the full story over the Midgefest blog

Midgefest!

We’re well into the midge season here on Rum and when the wind drops and the sun goes in or there’s been a bit of rain, out they come to get us. So we could moan about it and curse them ’till we’re covered in itchy lumps and blue in the face, or we could could look at the upside and celebrate the little blood suckers for the good things they do.

About the mighty midge: There are 37 different types of midge in the UK and 5 in Scotland that bite people, although most of the damage is done by the Highland Midge Culicoides Ipmunctatus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_midge).

Reasons to celebrate them (that I can think of and I’m trying quite hard!): They provide a food source (even if only a small one) for some birds, bats and insectivorous plants. They also put some people off of coming to Highland Scotland altogether, which one could see as a positive as beautiful but midgie places might otherwise become overrun with the trappings of mass tourism…and I can’t think of any more positives just at the moment.

So, if not for these reasons, we will just celebrate in adversity and mostly look forward to the chance to welcome people to the Isle of Rum to celebrate with us. The event is a family orientated fun day with crafts and games for the children, BBQ, disco and more so if anyone is interested it’s a ‘the more the merrier’ type affair, the details are on the poster and spread the word!…

Midge Fest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feasibility Study for Village Regeneration - July 2012

31-07-2012

leader logo (c) Vikki TrelferEarlier this year the Isle of Rum Community Trust received funding from LEADER to carry out a feasibility study looking at redeveloping an agricultural steading in the village centre, and building a community-owned bunkhouse.  Neil Sutherland Architects have worked with the community & partners over the past six months to come up with designs for a simple bunkhouse and for the steading redevelopment, which would incorporate a new cafe, visitor centre, teaching space, shop, and self-contained holiday accommodation. 

The feasibility study is now complete, and designs will be on display in the Village Hall until the autumn.  Capital funding is being sought for a community owned bunkhouse near the campsite, and the hard work to secure the capital required to take forward the ambitious plans for the steading redevelopment has just begun!

Click here to see the Bunkhouse elevation drawings.

 

Elsa Jean McTaggart - The 2012 Hat Tour - July 2012

21-07-2012

Elsa Jean McTaggart (c) Nic Goddard

Last night (Friday 20th July) we were treated to a performance by the lovely Elsa Jean McTaggart - fiddle player, guitarist, accordion player and singer: is there nothing she can't do?  She is full of stories both thoughful and funny, and her happy folksy tunes had toes tapping across the hall.  The evening culminated in a bit of ceilidh dancing which we just can't get enough of, and we hope she'll return next year.

With a bit of paraphrasing some of her songs could have been about our own wee island:
Where the marram grass grows
And time goes slow,
And the mountain shelters me...
Elsa Jean McTaggart - please buy a bit of Rum and build a shed here.  We promise that no-one will steal your wheelbarrow.  We know, we know, you're the one for us!
If you get the chance to see her perform in a village hall near you this summer, we strongly recommend that you go along.
www.mctaggart.info

 

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