Butterfly & Moth Safari, 30th July 2017

Butterfly & Moth Safari, 30th July 2017

Sunday’s Butterfly & Moth event at the Arisaig Land, Sea & Islands Centre was a great success, despite the relentless morning rain!

About 25 people of all ages braved the rain to join us for morning coffee and homemade cakes, before Tom Prescott from Butterfly Conservation, opened up the moth traps (set the night before in Morar, Tougal and Arisaig) to reveal their contents. Lots of very beautiful moths were identified, including a couple of species as yet unrecorded on this part of the west coast.  The moths were less than enthusiastic about regaining their freedom in such wet weather conditions. . .

A timely, early afternoon gap in the rain lasted long enough for a very enjoyable, and wonderfully informal butterfly walk and talk, led by Tom, around nearby Arisaig Glen.

The children were encouraged to take part in the Big Butterfly Count, currently taking place around the UK –  www.bigbutterflycount.org  – an annual survey of butterfly numbers and species, organised by Butterfly Conservation.

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Arisaig Community Trust AGM 2016

The AGM of the Arisaig Community Trust will take place on Monday 12th December 2016, at 7pm in the Club Room of the Astley Hall.  All are welcome to attend. (Only full members can vote in any ballots held at the AGM.  Full members are those who have completed an application form to join the Trust, and whose name appears on the electoral register for PH39).



Director nomination forms can be downloaded from the link below.


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Arisaig Station Garden Party – celebrating The Westie!

West Highland CRP

The Westie – working to make West Highland train travel an attractive option!

“The West Highland Community Rail Partnership (WHCRP) is a newly established community organisation, known as the Westie for ease. Our membership area includes the West Highland railway corridor from Mallaig to Crianlarich, as well as its hinterland. We are working to make train travel a more attractive option for locals and visitors alike. We want to keep our roads less busy and our air less polluted”.  (extract from the new WHCRP website)

Arisaig Community Trust is keen to support this new local travel initiative, and has just joined the organisation as a community member.  WHRCP have made Arisaig Station their local office, and we’re very pleased to welcome them to the village.  The partnership committee comprises an enthusiastic group of volunteers, keen to encourage more people to use local train services as an alternative to travel by road.

ACT’s involvement with our local railway station has also taken another step forward – from the end of Sept 2016, ACT will become official ‘Station Adopters’ for Arisaig.  This gives us a great opportunity to work towards improving and enhancing the station environment, and make it welcoming gateway to Arisaig.  If you have a bit of time to spare, and some imaginative ideas about how we might achieve this, do get in touch with ACT – mail@arisaigcommunitytrust.org.uk  The more local people are involved, the more we can put a ‘local’ stamp on Arisaig station.

The CRP celebrated taking over the lease on its new premises by holding a station garden party, with music (courtesy of a talented trio of musicians from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra), dancing , flowers and afternoon tea – all on the station platform!



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Great to see Arisaig Community Trust director, Heather MacDougall, and volunteer, Alison O’Rourke, at the Lochaber Voscars! Heather and Alison were accepting an award at the Voscars ceremony (9th June 2016) on behalf of ACT, who were runners up in the ‘Organisation of the Year’ category, for ‘making our community a better place to live’.

Well done, and thank you to everyone who helps ACT make Arisaig a better place to live.

The Voscars is an annual awards ceremony, organised by Voluntary Action Lochaber, which recognises and celebrates the work carried out by the many, many people who volunteer their services in Lochaber.

(Alison and Heather – 2nd & 3rd from right in photo)

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Natural history at the LSIC – this month: Otters

An excellent and lively talk on Wednesday evening, 20th July, at the LSIC.  Dr Aly McCluskie, senior conservation scientist with the RSPB, and local naturalist, spoke about otters – their habitat, behaviour, breeding patterns – and where they might be seen around Arisaig. The presentation attracted an audience of more than 30 people, all keen to learn more about  our native species, the Eurasian otter. To illustrate his talk, Aly showed some fantastic and memorable otter photos.

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Picnic – update & photos

Sunday dawned dreich and overcast, but undeterred by a spot (or two) of rain, our gallant footballers took the pitch and played some pretty good football!  A competitive, but good humoured match resulted in the young players snatching a narrow victory over the Old Crocks.  Final score 10 – 8

The winning team

The winning team




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Lots going on off the pitch for the younger spectators, with face painting, a sandpit, colouring table, and softball games  – while Arthur Campbell did a great job keeping people fed with delicious salmon and prawns, hot off the barbecue.

The youngest spectator

The youngest, and smallest, spectator


face painted!

Face painting

Face painting

Arthur - keeping everyone fed

Arthur – keeping everyone fed

James - winner of the Beat the Goalie competition

James – winner of the Beat the Goalie competition

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Busy colouring table

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Natural history @ the LSIC – this week: Moths

Moths – ethereal, delicate beautiful insects, mostly nocturnal (but not always). We see them fluttering around our lighted windows, apparently drawn like magnets to the source of the light.

This week we will have the mystery of moths and mothing unravelled for us, in a practical and absorbing demonstration by Tom Prescott, County Moth Recorder for West Inverness-shire.  The talk will be very specific to species of moths found in this area – Tom will be setting up moth traps in local gardens the night before the demonstration, and will be identifying and discussing what has been attracted to the lighted traps – whether the moths are commonly found on the west coast, or whether there are any unusual finds.  (He will give the moths back their freedom!)

If the evening is fine, the demonstration will take place outside the LSIC. (There will be seating for those who want/need it).

Moths & Mothing talk

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