As one of the conditions of the Breathing Places grant was that the project had to be completed within 12 months, we then had to concentrate on furtherfund raising to pull the plan together. To help with the publicity, a press release was circulated and received wide coverage in the Inverness Courier. We were very fortunate in obtaining further sponsorship from 5 local organizations and further details can be seen on our sponsors page.
There then followed two months of detailed planning before the excavations commenced in September. The contractor was on site for three weeks during which time the shape of the main pond had to be altered to accommodate the actual conditions found. However, there is still a marsh area to the south of the pond and enough land to add a smaller pond in the future.
During March and April, community volunteers erected an enclosure to facilitate the protection of a limited number of selected native trees to be planted in June. It is anticipated that the enclosure will also encourage and protect an area for indigenous wildflowers. The nearby Farigaig Forest is due to harvested by 2016 and so planting a few trees now will mean that they will be becoming established before the felling commences. A second enclosure is planned for the autumn. We gratefully understand that FCS are willing to plant broadleaf trees behind the project as this will be more sympathetic to the scheme than more pine. There will shortly be photographs in album 4.
This path means that wheelchair access is now possible and, when the jetty is built, access will continue over the water. There will shortly be photographs in album 4.
We then proceeded by excavating four trial trenches on the site to establish water table levels. All four successfully filled with water within a few hours and remained full until they were subsequently infilled for safety purposes. In three of the trenches the water level rose to within 250 mm of the ground surface level. A FCS civil engineer visited the site to survey and measure the contours in order to prepare a topographical map. From this, the first suggested landscape drawings were prepared showing the planned pond, watercourses and planting.