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Alexander technique teacher here this coming week

Our lovely Alexander Technique teacher and talented friend Erica Donnison will be visiting this coming week (11-16 May 2017) and there are still some spaces for lessons in Alexander Technique; POSE running; Tellington Ttouch Training and MBTI .. please message to book a lesson / more details.

Glorious weather

We are basking in some beautiful weather .. and watering all our newly planted wee trees and hedgerow plants !!
And these two were enjoying soaring on the thermals .. glad our lambs come inside in the evening for a little while yet, out of their way. One was spotted flying with a lamb in its talons not so far from here.

Avian Influenza update from Scot Gov

from the Scottish Government
You may wish to note that the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have published an updated Outbreak Assessment ( regarding the ongoing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 strain affecting the UK and Europe. Based on the latest evidence the UK risk assessment for a new incursion of AI virus via migratory wild birds has been reduced to “MEDIUM”. However, the risk of infection still being present in the UK, either circulating in non-migratory wild birds or present in the environment in some areas is still “HIGH”. The risk of an AI incursion into poultry or other captive birds remains at “LOW TO MEDIUM”, depending on premises biosecurity.

HPAI Controls

The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declared on 22 February continues to apply across Scotland. The zone permits birds to be kept outside provided that enhanced biosecurity is in place. The current zone remains in place until 30 April and will be reviewed based on the latest evidence closer to that time.

The temporary suspension of gatherings of some species of birds (including all poultry) also remains in place.

Bird keepers in Scotland are reminded of the importance of excellent biosecurity and anyone who suspects an animal may be affected by a notifiable disease must report it to their local Animal Plant & Health Agency office. Contact details can be found at

Wild bird surveillance

APHA surveillance for infection in resident wild birds is being increased. Members of the public should use the Defra helpline (Tel: 03459 33 55 77) to report findings of dead wild birds. In particular, any wild ducks, wild geese, swans, gulls or birds of prey and where more than five birds of any species are found dead in the same location. The threshold has been reduced so that any single wild waterfowl, including resident birds, will be collected for testing.

For more information please visit

You may wish to pass this alert on to your members as appropriate.

Mathew West
Exotic Diseases Branch
Animal Health and Welfare Division
Scottish Government

0300 244 9804

Permaculture Workshop Weekends

After our most successful recent Forest Garden weekend we would like to host more, and Ludwig is willing !!

What would you like, and when ?
Permaculture Workshop Weekends

Mid May – End June 2017
Led by Ludwig Appeltans, Earth-ways
hosted by Kintaline Farm, Benderloch, Argyll PA37 1QS

Ludwig Appeltans, of Earth-Ways, has a variety of courses to share with us.
Please visit to identify the ones you are most interested in, AND THE DATES you can do – (this includes a repeat of the Forest Gardening weekend we have just had for all those who were unable to join us; as well as Sheet Mulching, Soils, Composting, Plant / Weed identification, Intros to Permaculture, to Design, to Community Gardens, as well as a 6 weekend Design Course.
There is also an option for a Herbal Workshop with Clare Holohan, to learn more of our natural species, and then understand more how to convert them into useful concoctions.

Forest gardening is a clever way to design a beautiful garden with the highest yields possible while requiring very little work. This is achieved by allowing the ecosystem to take care of the fertility, pestcontrol, digging and weeding.
The main human tasks are to harvest and enjoy the beauty.
This is possible because forest gardens are designed along the principles of how a natural forest thrives without much human intervention.

Permaculture is more complex involving the three main ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share .. and then there are layers of understanding to learn to reconnect ourselves with our environment, our communities, our productivity, and our sustainability.

PLEASE please feel very free to forward this information to anyone you think might be interested.
The costs will run on a sliding scale to enable and support all who want to join, while respecting the experience and work involved in leading and hosting the workshop.

Please get in touch for further details


Wood : Fallen Giants : Fuel for years

In the past few years our superb massive 150 year old sycamore trees have contracted back, and with their proximity to just about every building we hold dear, the decision was made to bring them down, convert them to fuel for us, and to let all the other trees and plants around them flourish with more light.
Now to clear up all the mess  and get it all processed !!
Thanks to Roni MacDonald tree services for a careful efficient job bringing these big guys down.
Have plenty of ideas to plant in their space next autumn.


Bees : Asian Hornet

on the 17th March 2017 Scot Gov issued a warning about an Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) that was found in the Central belt, close by retail warehousing hubs.

SG today confirmed that a single Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina had been identified at a retail warehouse in the central belt of Scotland. The Asian Hornet is a non-native species and a serious predator of honey bees and other pollinators which has recently become established in Europe. There are no more public health risks associated with Asian hornets than with other bees or wasps.
Asian hornets were first identified in the GB during autumn 2016, that outbreak was dealt with and no further reports have been confirmed since.  It is not possible to identify the origin of this individual and no further sightings have been made, however for surveillance purposes SG has placed Asian Hornet traps in the area and alerted the pest control industry and beekeepers to be vigilant for this species
Beekeepers are being encouraged to put up Asian hornet traps all over the country this year to try and prevent this dangerous predator from becoming part of our ecology.
You can buy the traps, or buy just the Asian Hornet pheromone to use in home made traps . It is most effective that these are hung around hives, but other locations are valuable too.