Saturday 4 June 2016

An Afternoon in Aigas

After an interesting and informative morning at the Ironworks in Inverness for the annual John Muir Trust Gathering AGM (and a rather good lunch) - a group of the members attending, including Jim and me - jumped aboard a minibus and headed west into Strathglass for a guided tour around the Aigas Field Centre.

Aigas Loch and boathouse

We were lucky enough to be shown around by Warwick Lister-Kaye, the general manager at Aigas, who walked with us around the Aigas Loch, made famous in his father's book "At the Water's Edge". Sir John Lister-Kaye has written a number of books and is one of the foremost natural history and conservation writers of our time...

Aigas Loch

Warwick gave us an illuminating and informative talk about the Field Centre and particularly about the beavers that have been living beside the loch and surrounding burns over recent years.

Aigas Loch

It was a beautiful day and it was a priveledge to be there - we didn't see (nor had we expected to see) any beavers. But we saw the result of their activities on the loch shore, their lodge and the effect on the vegetation and environment.

Aigas Loch and beaver tree cutting activities

The discussion was all positive.

Beaver lodge on Aigas Loch

And I hope that the Scottish Government, will make the decision to support the permanent reintroduction of beavers to Scotland - and give them the protection from persecution that they richly deserve.

Beaver Lodge on Aigas Loch

New wetlands by Aigas Loch caused by beaver activity

Aigas Loch and boathouse

Aigas Loch and new wetlands caused by beaver activity

Aigas Loch and new wetlands

Once around the loch, we detoured through the rich Caledonian pine forest and up to an iron age fort atop the ridge above Oldtown of Aigas - the views were extensive across Strathglass and beyond. We were lucky enough to see a slow worm basking in the warm sunshine.

Back at Aigas House, Sir John and Lady Lucy Lister-Kaye came over for a word and we were made to feel very welcome.

Aigas Loch and boathouse

Thank you, John Muir Trust and Warwick Lister-Kaye and the other staff at Aigas Field Centre - we had a wonderful day.

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