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Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Changes to this blog and a new website

Over the next few weeks and possibly months I'm making changes to the layout of this blog and building a new website, so things are likely to move, disappear and/or re-appear.

Non of the help and information about cameras will be permanently lost but may get moved around, so please bear with me while I get things reorganised.

My new website address is:

There are inevitably going to be some dead links which I will correct as I become aware of them; but if you wish you can contact me about anything you can't find.

Hopefully this will not turn into too much of a marathon.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Huge appetite among Scottish young people to work in rewilding

Trainee Callum Fraser carrying out a Herbivore Impact Assessment at Dundreggan estate
Trainee Callum Fraser carrying out a
Herbivore Impact Assessment
at Dundreggan estate
Credit: Paul Greaves

Rewilding charity Trees for Life has finished a landmark three-year skills development project to help 15 people from diverse backgrounds pursue a career in rewilding. 


With more than 1,000 people registering their interest to take part in the ‘Skills for Rewilding’ programme across its three-year run, the pioneering project has revealed a significant demand among Scots to find practical ways to help nature and the climate. 


Skills for Rewilding welcomed five people each year to the Trees for Life Dundreggan rewilding estate in Glenmoriston, west of Loch Ness, where they

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Bid to make Glen Affric Scotland’s next beaver release site


A community consultation that will help decide whether beavers are reintroduced to Glen Affric has been launched in the Scottish Highlands, led by Trees for Life.


The rewilding charity is carrying out the consultation on behalf of four private landowners and Forestry and Land Scotland, who all manage land that has habitat capable of supporting a beaver population. 


If the proposal is successful, it would be the first official release of beavers to the north-west Highlands since the species was driven to extinction some 400 years ago.


Trees for Life has long campaigned

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Rewilding conference signals fresh thinking for Scotland’s land and seas

Red deer
Red deer are one of Scotland’s most recognisable mammals – yet 
their numbers in recent decades have soared, bringing into question 
their impact on the wider landscape. Discussion over deer numbers 
is sure to feature at The Big Picture Conference.

Against a backdrop of global biodiversity crashes and climate breakdown, a major conference in Stirling this September will examine how Scotland can reverse its widespread depletion of nature and become a world leader in restoring its land and seas to good health, so wildlife and communities can flourish.
The Big Picture Conference will explore the potential for rewilding large parts of Scotland’s forests, peatlands, rivers, moorlands and seas, and the benefits this could bring for declining wildlife such as red squirrel, wildcat and capercaillie, as well as for people’s health, wellbeing and employment.
Hosted by communications group SCOTLAND: The Big Picture at the University of Stirling’s Macrobert Arts Centre on 21 September, the event will examine why rewilding – the repair and restoration of nature –

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Nature-depleted Scotland needs new era of rewilding says landmark book

A sticking plaster approach to conservation is failing Scotland’s wildlife – and with species such as red squirrel, wild cat and capercaillie declining or on the edge of extinction, a new era of massive rewilding is needed, says a landmark new book from Trees for Life and SCOTLAND: The Big Picture.

Scotland has the space and opportunity to take a fresh approach, with people working with nature, not against it, and allowing ecosystems

Friday, 10 August 2018

New ‘suspension bridge’ keeps red squirrels safe in Highlands

A specially designed rope bridge slung between trees high over a Highlands road is giving red squirrels a safe crossing. Camera footage has revealed regular use of the bridge by the charismatic species.

Conservation charity Trees for Life installed the bridge over a road near Shieldaig last summer, as part of its project to reintroduce red squirrels to the northwest Highlands.

Footage collected for more than a year from a camera trap has now revealed squirrels from a flourishing new population at Shieldaig crossing the bridge and exploring their new homes.

Together with nearby road signs alerting drivers to the squirrels’ presence, the innovative bridge appears to have had a significant impact in reducing road deaths of the

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Vision for collaboration to make Glen Affric forest reach from coast-to-coast

Glen Affric National Nature Reserve could be at the core of an unprecedented collaboration between landowners and communities to create an unparalleled forest corridor stretching from Scotland’s east to west coast, says a new film from Forest Enterprise Scotland and conservation charity Trees for Life.  

Narrated by acclaimed cameraman and filmmaker Gordon Buchanan, the five-minute film – ‘Glen Affric: A landscape worth restoring’ – celebrates 60 years of

Monday, 25 June 2018

Great Pied Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens) west of Loch Ness

Volucella pellucens  © Ron Bury
I'm sorry for the lack of posts over the last two and a half months but I was away most of April and busy catching up after I returned so apart from anything else I missed posting a number of press releases from TFL and the HWDT. I might put a couple of the more significant ones up but thought I'd start off with some images and a video of a female Splayed Deerfly  Chrysops caecutiens feeding on a blue cornflower.

Well I thought it was until Neil Anderson pointed out in the comments below that it was the Great Pied Hoverfly Volucella pellucens which is the very opposite of the rarity I thought I'd found.

I should have paid more attention and feeling suitably

Friday, 16 March 2018

Helping ‘The Reds Return’ to the Highlands

Red squirrel © Peter Cairns
Trees for Life has launched an appeal to raise £22,000 to ensure a better future for red squirrels in the Highlands of Scotland.

The Reds Return appeal will enable the reintroduction of red squirrels in up to eight woodlands in the north-west Highlands, where new populations will be able to flourish, safe from competition and disease from grey squirrels.

This will also help the natural expansion of the region’s pine forests, because reds inadvertently plant new trees by forgetting where they have buried their winter stores of nuts and seeds. 
It will allow more people to see red squirrels in the

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Record numbers of common dolphin sightings off Scotland’s west coast

HWDT Common dolphin
Sightings of common dolphins across the Hebrides have reached a new record high according to research conducted by marine conservation charity, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.

Evidence collected during marine research expeditions on the Trust’s specialized research yacht Silurian in 2017 has revealed a dramatic 24% increase from the previous year’s already record-breaking figures.

The findings were made in a research season running from April to October 2017, part of the charity’s unique long-term citizen science project monitoring whales, dolphins and porpoises – collectively known as cetaceans – and basking sharks in the Hebrides.

We have never documented so many sightings of common dolphins off Scotland’s west coast before. Our findings highlight the importance of on-going monitoring and research to strengthen our understanding of what is
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This web site is about the wildlife, particularly the mammals, of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve area in the north west Highlands of Scotland, UK; and the equipment I use to search for them, which is chiefly trail cameras.

I provide a technical support and parts service for the Ltl Acorn range of cameras and the income from this provides for the upkeep of this site and the purchase of cameras for my own surveying.

I hope you find the site useful and informative; and please contact me if you have any questions that I haven't already covered.