Getting into the spirit of things on the Island of Rum
I have just returned from spending five days on the Island of Rum, surveying rhododendron and cotoneaster for the Community Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage.
In fact, I returned a couple of days ago, but I have been busy doing the post survey GIS work and tidying-up the fieldwork results so I have only just found the time to make this post.
The trip came about because rhododendron and cotoneaster have been doing what they do best: being a nuisance and spreading into places where they should not be. In that regard, the cotoneaster has formed extensive stands as an understorey in some of the woodland under the Trust's management and, somewhat less frequently, across adjacent hill ground that SNH manages.
Likewise, the rhododendron has been up to it's usual tricks and doing the same, this time forming some really nasty stands on very boggy ground that was not at all fun to survey in the, sometimes inclement, weather.
Both the Community Trust and SNH intend to do something about these hooligan plant species, so they asked me to establish the extent of the the problem and suggest some approaches to dealing with each area.
Regarding that weather, I experienced a couple of really wet days that stretched my recording methods to breaking point. My waterproof document holder wasn't and it was a challenge to keep charging my electronic mapping device from a portable powerbank when everything was soaking wet.
Fortunately, I prevailed and the work was completed on time. I even had a couple of very nice days while in the field and took some photos during this time and while I was waiting for the ferry home.
I thought that I would show some of the photos here and provide some links for further information on Rum.
As a destination for some peaceful rest and relaxation, Rum is well worth a visit. The ferry timetable provides an opportunity to spend a few hours exploring the Kinloch area in both summer and winter and there is a modern bunkhouse and camping (owned by the community trust) for longer stays.
But first, let's get started with the pictures.
And that, as they say, was that.
For those wanting more information on Rum, including details of its fascinating geological history, I recommend SNH's excellent free PDF on Rum and the Small Isles here.
For more information on Rum, including practical advice for visitors and details of the history of the Isle of Rum Community Trust, see this link.
And finally (finally!) here is a link to the Facebook page for the bunkhouse. Jed is the manager there and you'll receive a quick reply to any enquiry. It stays open for most of the year and, seeing as there is as much chance of sunny weather in the winter as there is at any other time of the year, an out of season trip is worthwhile.
Thanks for reading.