Blessed mostly with fantastic weather, Francesca cycled 252 miles last week, sailed on six Ferries and visited five SNH offices (with a wave to Portree). The final part of #CycleForNature leg two took Francesca from Ullapool to Kinlochewe. Let’s hear how it went…
After a meeting with colleagues in the Ullapool office and a radio interview with Two Lochs Radio, we headed down to the harbour to meet Noel Hawkins of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, project manager for the Living Seas project. Noel talked about his work in marine conservation and his collaboration with SNH, including engagement with school pupils which led to Ullapool becoming the first plastic straw free village in the UK. Inspirational stuff.
Then back on the road for the trip to Kinlochewe. I was accompanied by colleagues who pointed out features of this dramatic landscape as we went, including how community ownership of the land is growing with really positive results. Part of the route went through the Wester Ross National Scenic Area, where a pilot photo project is recording changes in the landscape with photos taken by the public. Stopping to take photos at viewpoint one, Glen Docherty, and viewpoint four, Beinn Eighe, was an absolute delight. Truly beautiful spots.
At Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve, I had a great discussion with reserve colleagues about the amazing work done by volunteers. Beinn Eighe is brilliantly set up for volunteer parties and without them we would not be able to manage the reserve in the way we want. I also learned about the unique genetic properties of the Scots pine here: collecting seed so this genetic rarity can be maintained is an important role on the reserve.
I also declared the Beinn Eighe NNR Visitor Centre open for the season! Around 10,000 people per year pass through its doors.
And that was #CycleForNature leg two — a fantastic and inspiring week!
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