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Thread: Important Areas for Nature in Caithness

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Wick, Caithness

    Default Important Areas for Nature in Caithness

    Of course, the appropriate institutions have told us what the important places are in Caithness for nature and wild things, haven’t they? So it is all tidy, isn’t it? Well, the people of Caithness know a lot about what goes on around them and have a lot of information that does not reach the right ears. Also, people in “the appropriate institutions” tend to be rather busy with paper chases and do not get around enough. So some local natural history enthusiasts are trying to capture more of the local knowledge to give a better rounded picture of nature and wild things.

    For example, which hedgerows have the best range of summer flowers – do you drive or cycle or walk past a good one and value it? This summer we walked round the loop of road at Harpsdale, south of Halkirk, and found 116 species. Does your favourite wayside get mowed down by a well-intentioned Highland Council? Tell us about it.

    Do you know where bats fly in the evening? Do you know where they hang out? They eat midges so maybe you want more of them around! We would like to know what you know!

    Where are the best sea fish to be found? Where are the whales and dolphins to be seen? Our knowledge of the inshore sea around the county is not very strong and anyway it keeps changing as commercial fishing alters and as climate change moves the food around. What can you tell us?

    Do migrating birds frequently land on your patch? Do unusual birds nest in your trees? What interesting birds visit your garden feeder? Have you ever seen a golden plover with its chicks on the moorland? Where do you go to see seabirds?

    An autumn visit to Dunnet Forest will reveal a huge number of fungi. Achvarasdal Wood is good too. Where else should we go to see them? Where do you pick yours?

    Are there any crofts or smallholdings that still have the old farm weeds – corn marigold – shepherd’s needles – field pansy – annual knawel?

    To broaden out the questions – which are the places that have the richest combination of birds, plants, butterflies, etc. so that they are overall interesting places to go to?

    The people asking these questions are local naturalists who belong to the Caithness Biodiversity Group. They are running a project to find the places that the people of Caithness value for their biodiversity – that is, for the richness of the natural animals and plants to be seen there. The project is led by amateur botanist Ken Butler, supported by Mary Legg of the Ranger Service, Angus Spirit, David Glass and others to give a wide cover of the fauna and flora.

    There will be three drop-in evenings at Thurso, Wick and Dunbeath at which Caithness folks can come along and have a chat about these things.
    The first session will be at the Pentland Hotel, Thurso anytime between 6pm and 10pm on Tuesday 23rd October. There will be refreshments, displays and discussion.

    The second session will be at the Assembly Rooms, Wick anytime between 6pm and 10pm on Tuesday 13th November. There will be refreshments, displays and discussion.

    The Dunbeath date is yet to be arranged.

    You can also tell us about your favourite places by:

    Writing to -
    Ken Butler
    Seaside Cottage
    Thurso East
    KW14 8HN

    E-mail -

    Chat -
    Join the Chat area at
    Last edited by Bill Fernie; 20-Oct-07 at 14:52.

  2. #2


    Reminder!!! This today!!!

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