Rowardennan Bush Craft Event

It was the day after Catrina’s wedding – Congratulations Catrina! – and to allow the adults to relax after the celebrations a bushcraft/survival event was organised. 

After a blindfold team game and guessing the weight of an Atlantic Oak tree, we set off to explore the natural world. First was and Alice in Wonderland examination of mole burrows underneath the grass. Then we were off along the coast of Loch Lomond in search of ‘alien’ species.

For their own protection the group realised a shelter should be built and everyone work hard as a team to ensure a superior quality shelter was made.

Members of the group foraging.

Members of the group foraging.

Showing off the Shelter

Showing off the Shelter

Once the shelter was build they set off in search of wild foods, but found it more fun to play Mountain Soft Rush darts instead! On the way back to the Hostel everyone stopped to find out more about fire-lighting and great effort was made in using strikers – more fireworks than flame – but the techniques were definitely developing.

A great time was had by all and I must say, that from a leader’s point of view, I have seldom worked with a more attentive and hard working group.

Well done teammates!

Loch Lomond Island Trek

Could a family of 18 French people, here in Scotland to celebrate a 50th birthday, enjoy themselves in the pouring rain driven by gale force winds? Of course they could!!

That’s just what happened on the 12th of September! The hope had been to climb Connich Hill at Balmaha in the morning and then canoe to Inchcailloch for lunch. But the weather was too rough for canoeing and plans had to change.

It was decided to visit Inchcailloch by Macfarlane’s ferry first and the party duly set off.

The first location visited was the ancient graveyard where many of the area’s clan chiefs were interned. We then took the northern path to Port Bawn where, regardless of the rain, the group posed for pictures (see below). Some also went to the Ranger’s hut, to listen for bats which nestle in amongst the wooden panels on the outer walls.

Learning about flora and fauna as they progressed, the group climbed to the top of the island to see the view over the Loch and along the Highland Boundary Fault line.

Once back on the mainland and after a short break, the group ascended Connich Hill to the ridge. A strong blast accompanied the rain but the group were undaunted and appreciated the views of twisted mist patterns flowing over the islands. As they descended by the West route, there was a temporary clearance and ‘almost’ a glimpse of sun shine. A cheer went up which showed that spirits had remained high.

It was a great privilege to have shared this time with everyone and I hope that on their next visit the sun will be shining brightly.

 

Enjoying the Beach at Port Bawn

Wild Lomond Trek

A wonderful day was had accompanying members of the Sierra Club on their West Highland Way trek from Drymen to Balmaha. The route took us over Conoc Hill, a volcanic hill forming part of the Highland Boundary Fault.

En route we observed and talked about flora and fauna, forestry practices, history and heritage. This included the clan structure in the area, historical and contemporary uses of the land, the potential for Loch Lomond being used as part of a cross nation canal and much more.

We saw buzzards, peacock butterflies, a robin and Dor Beetle, commonly known as Dung Beetles.

Although cool the weather was fine with only one significant shower.

Always a pleasure I look forward to undertaking this trek again next year.