Archive for December, 2009

Loch Eck, Bheinn Ime and the Trossachs National Park

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Christmas Jolly

This year United Environmental Services decided to take their Christmas jolly in Scotland by Loch Eck.  The weather just before Christmas was hovering between a chilly minus 7 and a toasty minus o.5  degrees Celsius. Initially on arrival via the ferry over Loch Long there was no snow but plenty of ice and the local pub took great pleasure in denying our evening meal because we were a bit too late. So it was off to bed with tea and toast.

Bheinn Ime

The next morning we decided to take a trip out and walk up Bheinn Ime which be my first Munro. The weather was again clear and cold but you could see snow falling on the higher ground. The peak of Bheinn Ime was clearly visible as we approached in the car.

The going was good and we reached the peak in around 2 hours the view was non existent as the low temperature had shrouded the top in snow and ice. We didn’t hang around for long on the top and ran most of the way back down in just an hour. So much for a lazy Christmas doo!.  Even Milly the dog was tired.

Loch fyne

The next day we took a trip out to the coast before returning in the evening to dine at Loch Fyne restaurant at the head of (you’ve guessed it) Loch Fyne. The food was excellent and we all had a merry time.

Golden Eagle

On the final morning we went for a short walk before setting off back to Cheshire. A couple of inches of snow had fallen overnight and the scenery was spectacular. Toby managed to spot a golden eagle circling above woodlands on the other side of the loch which was a first for me.   All in all a great trip which left us looking forward to the challenge of next year.

Installing Bat Hibernation Boxes in Cheshire

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Bat Hibernation boxes are fitted high in trees and this one was no exception.This mature beech tree was chosen because of its size location and stability.  Ropes were set up by Mike in order to climb the tree and then a small pulley was placed above the planned position of the hibernation box. Stewart then climbed the tree using the ropes. The pulley was tested for safety and then the bracket was nailed into position. The hibernation box which weighs 30kg was then hoisted up by Mike and Toby and hung in its final position roughly eight metres above the ground.

We hope to find noctule bats using this box next year as they were observed feeding very close by during a survey last summer. Soprano pipistrelles and Brown long eared bats were also recorded at the time and pipistrelles may well use the box when they find it. It is always a good approach to install extra bat roosts around any development even if no bats are to be affected by it. This can help all species of bats as they require many different roosts at different times of the year.

We also fitted hibernation boxes into the walls of the extension. And fitted bat access tiles into the new roof to allow access to the void beneath the tiles for crevice dwelling bats such as pipistrelles.