Looking downstream on the River Cree
Looking upstream on the River Bladnoch
Felling of commercial forestry in Galloway Forest Park
Looking upstream on the River Luce
North American Signal Crayfish
The sandy beach at Loch Grannoch
Belted Galloway Cattle, or 'Belties'
Fly fishing on the River Cree
A small upland burn
The High Cree, looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet
A small waterfall on the Buchan Burn
A salmon from the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee
Jamie and Neil were at the Barony College on Monday and Tuesday attending a quad bike training course. As well as getting very muddy they learnt how to safely use ATVs in a range of terrains. These vehicles are extremely useful to transport equipment and to access many remote areas. Wet summers over the last few years have made travelling off road difficult even with our 4x4 Mitsubishi. Helpful estates, landowners and forestry companies have helped in the past to transport us around on their quads but without adequate and appropriate training we were unable to use quads ourselves.
For a number of months, Rowan has been in correspondence with the Social Subjects, Geography and Biology Departments of Stranraer Academy to help compile a project that will look at land use and threats to fish survival on the River Luce catchment. Mr Cross from Stranraer Academy has been heading up this project and on Tuesday we finally made a start! The Fish Project will begin by following some basic principles of the Salmon in the Classroom Project – by having the students rear salmon eggs within their school. Having investigated in depth the various pressures that exist in the freshwater environment, it will be up to the class, once they have undertaken assessments of six sites, to choose the most suitable site to place their hatched salmon back in to. Investigating water quality, land use, instream habitat and impacts of pollution are all key components to this project and once the class have released their fish into the most suitable habitat, they will return in summer time to recover their fish by electrofishing and check the health and growth rates of their salmon at the selected Luce site.
On Thursday Neil met up with a small team of volunteers on the Barhoise Burn to make a start at building a watergate to exclude livestock from the burn. Despite the drizzle, good progress was made to get the main strainer posts in the ground and associated fencing at either side of the burn to tie in with the existing fencing. GFT will return with volunteers soon to complete the work, which will include building and hanging the watergate itself.