Monday, 19 June 2017

Making the Most of Moorlands: Update

Fantastic afternoon at MTAF!!

Had a great afternoon at the Muckle Toon Adventure Festival yesterday - the weather was magnificent and we had a great Stream Dipping session followed by a tent talk about local wildlife and they even let me sing a few songs!! Huge thanks to Dawn and all the organisers for putting in an enormous amount of effort to ensure that, once again, the festival was a massive success!! Well Done Guys and thanks for inviting me along! - Rick

Making the Most of Moorlands - Update

Lizards on the Mistle Thrush menu!

Just an interesting picture of a Mistle Thrush carrying a Common Lizard - hadn't seen this before. Also found a Spotted Flycatcher on 4 eggs last week - Rick

Mistle Thrush with Common Lizard

Spotted Flycatcher on 4 eggs

Making the Most of Moorlands - Update

Owls doing well 


Here are some pictures of the three most common Owl species on the Moor; Barn, Tawny and Short-eared. All have bred on the Hill this season, making good use of the high vole numbers, with the Barn Owls being particularly successful with a total of 25 young successfully fledged so far - Rick

Barn Owl

Tawny Owl

Short-eared Owl (Photo courtesy of Bryan Benn)

Young Barn Owl

Young Tawny Owls

Young Short-eared Owls

Cathy's last day

Making the Most of Moorlands: Update

Cathy's Last Day

It's my last day as Seasonal Education Assistant here at the Making the Most of Moorlands Project. I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me / the project over the past 6 months especially the young people, their parents and teachers at our local schools - it's been great getting to know you all!

Much fun has been had with the John Muir Award, Learning Base, Nature Clubs and School visits as you can see below

And Thank You to everyone for supporting the Moorland Team during our Moorland May events, Cathy

Friday, 26 May 2017

Moorland May Music Festival THIS WEEKEND!

The sun is shining and the stages are set for what is going to be a FANTASTIC weekend of live music and arts here in Langholm.

The Open Air Market will be bustling at the marketplace as well as various Spring Fling venues showcasing the hottest artistic talent AND it's our very own Moorland May MUSIC FESTIVAL!

Woodturning Storyteller Rolf Buwert will be at / around the Welcome to Langholm shop between 1030am - 3pm  - Come and see him and let your little ones be enthralled by the history of Haggis Hunting in Scotland!

And join us this evening and tomorrow all day for a series of live performances - see programme below:

See you there! Cathy

Nature Clubs Update!

Hi Everyone - it's been a busy few weeks here at the Making the Most of Moorlands Project with 3 new Nature Clubs kicking off at the local primary schools of Langholm, Canonbie and Hottsbridge.

Please enjoy the photos below which show a little of what we have been up to so far!

The 3 different groups have taken part in a variety of different activities including stream dipping, owl pellet dissection, bird cake making and natural art! More to come, watch this space......Cathy

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

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!.....