The site is approximately 1 ha. in extent, between Foyers and Inverfarigaig in the Scottish Highlands . It is owned by the Forestry Commission for Scotland who are active participants in the project and have entered into a formal partnership with the existing Management Group. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has given its approval for the proposed project. The site will be monitored by Forestry Commission Rangers and will also fall within the orbit of the Highland Council Ranger service.
The site is ideal for a wetland project, having been formed in Late Glacial times as an area of open water, which has gradually, in the normal course of events, become in-filled with peat. The physical conditions of the site and surrounding area have been extensively examined. Trial excavation pits showed a very high water table and a potential depth of water ranging from shallow shore entry to over 2 metres. In winter, certain areas of the site are flooded. Detailed field notes were made of the existing flora and fauna, showing a quite remarkable poverty of species. Experience elsewhere has shown that diversification of the physical conditions on a wetland site can produce a quite dramatic increase in the number and diversity of species. To this end we have excavated an open water area of differing depths and plan to produce areas of marshland by scraping hollows and enriching the surface. There will be judicious planting of shrub and tree species such as sallow and alder. Target species include surface-feeding and diving ducks, moorhen, coot, water rail, dabchick, heron: waders – snipe, redshank, woodcock, lapwing, oyster catcher; small passerines such as reed bunting and pipets and naturally, any of the raptors.
Small mammals will make use of the site, as will many frogs, toads and newts along with countless invertebrates including dragon and damsel flies.
The project will be used as an educational and research tool for the community. The site is already on an established Forest Trail (the green route) used by local and visitors and giving a clear overview of the area. Car parking and toilet facilities are available at the Inverfarigaig Forestry Visitors Centre approx. one mile back along the trail. To encourage people to understand the project, educational boards will be installed around the site and directional signboards will be installed at the Inverfarigaig Visitor Centre. The Highland Council Countryside Rangers wish to include the site on their syllabus of guided walks and events to raise awareness, promote public enjoyment and encourage appreciation of the scenery, wildlife and heritage of the Highlands. A small hide is to be provided. Visits by school groups are being encouraged.
The project began in April 2007 when a small group of Foyers residents discussed the prospect of using the field adjacent to Easter Boleskine for a Wetlands Project. An approach was made to the Forestry Commission for Scotland (FCS) and a meeting was arranged. FCS were enthusiastic about the proposal but first had to arrange visits by land management specialists, an ecologist and a civil engineer. All were favourable to the proposal and discussions then centered on whether the project should proceed as a Community land purchase or as a Partnership with FCS. This latter course was agreed upon in view of FCS’s in-house experience and expertise. Before proceeding too far, it was felt judicious to approach the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) who has the power to veto any plan that involves impoundment of water. SEPA sent a representative to view the site who expressed the view that the site clearly had been a pond in the distant past and that the proposals
During January the traditional heavy rains brought the usual flooding to the site. A large number of photographs were taken to establish the flood directional flow and drainage to assist in determining the areas likely to be most suitable for placing the actual pond area. In February volunteers undertook the task of multiple deep probes across the site to confirm the hard mineral base in order to confirm that the areas selected for excavation would be best suited for the pond. During Spring and early Summer we continued to take photographs of the existing wildflowers and insect life and many of these photographs are in the gallery of this website.
In June we received the good news that the project had been awarded £10,000 lottery funding from the BBC Breathing Places scheme.The award was one of only 10 grants in the Highlands and one of only 56 in the whole of Scotland. Furthermore, it was for the maximum amount that could be claimed which would provide most of the funding for the excavation which would ensure that the project could go ahead.
Lochs, rivers and wetlands in Scotland
Scotland is not only a part of the United Kingdom that is known for the man wearing skirts or a weird accent. It is a beautiful part of an amazing island, and home to many interesting people, the beautiful and culturally rich Edinburg and a place where you can find the most interesting nature and some old buildings like castles and bridges. People live in Scotland since the 9th century BC, but it is not known how they got there, nor who their ancestors are. Scotland was the home of William Wallace and many other brave man trough out the history, that enabled almost every attempt to conquer the lands of Scotland.
If you have never heard of Loch Ness, Edinburg, Glasgow or even Scotland, then you should rethink your existence on this planet. Nessie is something like Britain's favorite national treasure. Oh wait, it's the royal family. But still, Nessie, the monster of Loch Ness is famous all around the world and drives a lot people into this part of Scotland. You can also see the Urquhart Castle there. There are just ruins left, that date from the 13th century. In the 14th century Urquhart played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence. There are many other lochs in Scotland, but we will mention just a few more. Loch an Eilein, on Scottish Gaelic it means "Loch of the island" has a beautiful surrounding and it is quite interesting to take a walk around it.
Loch Lomond is the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain. It has quite an interesting history of songs written about it and airplane crashes, but we will mention the possibility of playing golf and take a boat and enjoying the beautiful Scottish landscape. Loch Maree is the right place for trout fishing and even Queen Victoria visited it. It has its own monster in the form of the muc-sheilch, of course. Fun fact: a friend of mine once met a girl that had the nickname MucSheilch. She was living near Loch Maree.
Rivers of Scotland
Scotland is also home to many wetlands full of nature, different and original animal and plant species. You can find there many endemic sorts of plants and also a few, quite interesting rivers. One of them is River Findhorn. It provides excellent salmon and is very good for trout fishing. Findhorn is popular with anglers from everywhere around the world. Tatha or River Tay is the longest river in Scotland. It is mentioned in many songs and, when you look at the map of Scotland it seems it goes in a circle. It is famous for The River Tay Disaster, a huge flood in 1879, but more known is William McGonagall's notoriously bad poem about this tragedy.
If you ever get a chance to visit Scotland, don't miss to take a look or spend some time at these beautiful water creations, created a long time ago in the Scottish land. Visit Edinburg of course and Loch Ness, and maybe if you have luck you will see our dear Nessie.