This month we went to join colleagues at the Scottish Wildlife Trust Staff conference in Seamill, Ayrshire. It was a great two days where we got to catch up with other Living Landscape teams, head office staff and learn about other projects going on at the Trust. On day 1 Fiona and Laura held a workshop, a chance to slow down and show us your favourite wild space and experiment with artist supplies.

Some of the artwork completed at the workshop. One of these landscapes looks familiar! © Fiona Saywell/ Scottish Wildlife Trust

Alongside the CALL workshop other colleagues had organised a range of other activities, allowing us to be a little childlike and learn tips and skills to take back to Coigach and Assynt. I myself joined the Wild Ways Well Team from Cumbernauld Living Landscape, enjoying a walk in nature and learning how to experience woodland and beaches in a more sensory way than just our eyes. For more information on Cumbernauld Living Landscape click here.

Learning about trees: through the woodland walk we search for a type of tree that was on the card given to us by Cumbernauld LL and shared facts. When we arrived on the beach, we joined all our leaves together into a giant tree drawn in the sand where your hopes or worries could be written on a leaf and taken away by the tide. © Vickii Campen / Scottish Wildlife Trust

Day 1 finished off with a quiz. Not to say we are competitive, but we came second! A great quiz set up by Cumbernauld and Trust Staff where each category was related to the conference. Examples: the Peat round (all answers start with the name Pete), Animal nicknames of athletes and sports stars and a music round where all the bands had animal related names. Our certificate hangs proudly in our Lochinver Office!

Day 2 involved a visit to some of the sites in the Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership nearby. Laura, Susan, Kat and I visited Gailes Marsh Nature Reserve, learning about their Small Blue Butterfly re-introduction work leading to a new project: the Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network and also visiting their Boosting the Birds project’s artificial Sand Martin nesting bank. This also included a look at their volunteer tree nursery. Not quite to the scale that Susan is used to but a great area for volunteers to grow different tree species for the reserve and create a bug hotel. More information on Garnock Connections can be found here.

Gailes Marsh Visit: entering the reserve; Small Blue Butterfly wildflower meadow and the Sand Martin nesting bank © Vickii Campen / Scottish Wildlife Trust

Thank you to the Trust staff for holding such an enjoyable event and to the Seamill Hydro for hosting the conference.

Coigach & Assynt Living Landscape

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