Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Making the Most of Moorlands - Moorland May Update


Full festival listings at this link - It's going to be a Merry Old May-time!!


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Fun had at 1st Canonbie Nature Club Session

13 brave youngsters joined us in the freezing cold and sleet on Monday for the first session of our new Nature Club. They were tasked with dissecting owl pellets and making displays of what they found. They also toped up the bird feeders and introduced themselves to the friendly pheasants!

More fun to be had for the next session on the 8th -  looking forward to it! Cathy

Friday, 21 April 2017

Making the Most of Moorlands - A long over-due update!!

News from 'The Hill'

Firstly, allow me  to apologise for the lack of updates recently. Things have been a bit manic but that's no excuse! So here's a summary of the last few months. 

Wildlife Update: 

Breeding started early in the raptors as a promising vole year spurred a Barn Owl into action, incubating a clutch of four eggs on March 10th! Hen harriers are back in good numbers with latest estimates as high as 9 pairs. Sky-dancing has been regular and some fantastic displays have been observed. Merlins are making everything aware of their presence by cuffing up anything that enters their territory good numbers of Black grouse have been observed at various Lek sites around the Moor. 

Spring Migrants have been steadily arriving, the first of which was a singing Chiffchaff at Longwood. Species and rough dates as follows:

Chiffchaff - 27.3.2017

Wheatear: 31.3.2017

Sand Martin: 1.4.2017

Willow Warbler: 7.4.2017

Swallow: 10.4.2017

Pied Flycatcher: 20.4.2017

Common Sandpiper: 20.4.2017

Good numbers of Curlew on the moor and more Lapwings than last year also.

Wheatear 31.3.2017

Common Sandpiper 20.4.2017

Pied Flycatcher 20.4.2017


Education Update: 

Lots going on with school groups at the moment. 40 S1students are working towards their John Muir Discovery Award, Lewis and Kain from Langholm Learning Base our helping out every Tuesday and Ryan Kennedy is volunteering for a full day every Monday. 

John Muir Group 2017

Lewis and Kain

Ryan putting up a trail camera for Barn Owls


The Duke of Edinburgh Volunteers have busy with litter picks and other activities through the winter racking up hours towards their Silver Award - Thanks for all your help Guys!!

Lydia and Mathew

Photography Workshop:

Two senior students from Langholm Academy have been creating a portfolio of Moorland related photography - the results of which will be displayed during the Moorland May Festival 2017.

Easter Events:

Seasonal Education Assistant Cathy Hooper has been running a series of very successful holiday activities over Easter. Lots of youngsters headed out onto the moor for a wide variety of fun filled sessions from Bird watching and Bushcraft to Stream Dipping. Everyone had a jolly nice time!!

A slug on the nose!!

Wee water beasties.... and Leo

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Kids activities programme!

Check out our Easter Holiday kids activities programme!

Booking essential - contact us on 013873 80914 or cathyhooper@langholminitiative.co.uk

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Making the Most of Moorlands - Update

Langholm Academy Learning Base Work Experience 31/01/17

This weeks task saw Kain and Lewis turn detective as they investigated owl pellets including the grisly task of dissecting them to discover what our local owls had for tea!

The guys found many interesting bits including skulls, leg bones and hip bones as can be seen below:

A great session - well done guys!
Especially for undertaking such a gruesome task just before Lunch!


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Blog update from Seasonal Education Assistant Jan 26th 2017

Hi! I’m new to the moorland project so thought I’d tell you a bit about my time here so far.

We have been working closely with students from Langholm Academy and Learning Base; some of whom are volunteering with us as part of their Duke of Edinburgh and Saltire Awards.
Tasks have included setting camera traps, (aiming to capture wildlife footage) restocking bird feeders, carrying out bird surveys and litter picks as well as putting up bird boxes along the Tarras.
We’ve seen lots of different wildlife including a Hen Harrier and have found some promising signs of otters along the Tarras – including their poo! This is also known as ‘Spraint’ and is distinctive due to its strong but not entirely unpleasant aroma. Hopefully we will catch some video footage of this most elusive of creatures having set up several camera traps along the burn.
I’m looking forward to meeting and working with more of the community over the next few months and am particularly looking forward to our Easter holiday events as well as the return of Moorland May.

 – More details coming soon – Watch this space!.....

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Making the Most of Moorlands - Work Experience

A week of work experience - Ruairi Hotson

7th - 11th November 2016

Ruairi followed Ciaran for another great week of work experience. During Ruairi's week he completed the following tasks: Filmed Waxwings and a Kestrel for the upcoming Langholm wildlife film, put up trail cameras to monitor various wildlife, built and installed a dipper nest box, sited and stocked a new wild feeding station at John's Bank, secured evidence of a satellite tagged Hen Harrier on the moor, continued to stock up the bird table and update the sightings board at Whitshiels, checked a woodland for signs of Long eared Owls, guided a local volunteer to enjoy sightings of Waxwings, Brambling and Hen Harriers and even braved the first snows of winter to check the hare feeding station, monitor raptors and even build a giant snow harrier!!

Ruairi has been a fantastic help all week displaying a great attitude and was a pleasure to work with. 

Ruairi wrote the report below following his placement:

During my work experience Rick and I done tasks like putting food out at the new bird table at Whitshiel's Cafe, laying out peanuts to attract different types of birds and squirrels at Longwood and took photographs of a type of bird called Waxwings in the co-op car park, the tall trees across from the co-op and the trees next to Border Fine Arts. We put out cameras to capture footage of different types of birds such as Black Grouse and Tawny Owl. We put up a camera to capture footage of the hares between back of Tarras and Newcastleton. In the last few days we set up our very own feeding station and put up a camera to see if anything was eating or coming nearby that area. Birds of prey that we seen during the week were Buzzards, Grouse, Pheasants, Kestrels, a tawny owl and many more  and even got to see a rare sighting of a Hen Harrier. During this week I have seen and heard amazing things and I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience, I would do it again and wouldn't mind having a job like this in the future. I would like to thank Rick for making it so fun and enjoyable and it has been a pleasure to work with him.

Many thanks to Ruairi for all his effort and hard work and we hope to see him back in Spring for some volunteering - Rick

Ruairi and the Snow Harrier!

Another fantastic Dipper box along the Tarras