Want to read more?
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
Ospreys being filmed live by an nest camera in Lochaber have laid their first egg of the season and the Woodland Trust Scotland hopes the osprey family will provide a beneficial dose of nature online during the current coronavirus lockdown.
Egg number one appeared at 6.20am on Thursday and, astonishingly, it is the third year in a row, that the first egg of this osprey pair has been laid on April 23. Every year since the camera was in position, the eggs have arrived on the same day.
Since 2017, viewers from around the world have watched entranced as live images are streamed from the nest camera, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and which can be seen at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/ospreycam
Trust director Carol Evans said: ‘Many people who will never visit this special woodland helped to buy it four years ago by contributing to our fundraising appeal.
‘The osprey camera was launched with them in mind. We wanted to offer a slice of wild forest life to people near and far. This year, with so many confined at home, this online experience becomes even more precious.’
Sanjay Singh, senior programme manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, added: ‘We are delighted that support from our players helps bring this wildlife spectacle to homes across the country, and indeed the world.
‘Contact with the natural world is so important, and while we are staying at home to keep ourselves and each other safe, it’s fantastic that people will be able to continue to see nature in action.’
It was in 2016 that Woodland Trust Scotland bought the spectacular 2,500 acre site in partnership with local group Arkaig Community Forest.
It contains areas of magnificent but degraded ancient Caledonian pinewood, which has been planted with non-native conifers.
A recently completed bridge and track upgrade will allow the extraction of huge quantities of non-native timber – freeing up Loch Arkaig’s ancient pine trees to recolonise the hillsides with their seedlings.
The restoration aims to demonstrate that conservation management can provide social and economic benefits for local communities.
Over the next five years the trust plans to remove 70,000 tonnes of non-native trees from the Loch Arkaig woodlands using specialist equipment, as well as fight tree disease by taking out infected lodgepole pine; restore up to 620 acres of degraded peatland habitats and control invasive non-native species such as Japanese knotweed.
Commandos from various allied armies trained at Loch Arkaig during the Second World War. The forest is home to sea eagles, golden eagles, ospreys, pine marten, otters and deer among many other species.
Arkaig Community Forest is a local community-based charity, which shares ambitious plans to restore native woodland habitats across the entire forest and demonstrate the ecological, social and economic value of ancient woodland restoration.
In particular, it aims to support the remote community living around the forest to benefit from active sustainable forest management activities such as woodfuel production, eco-tourism and adding value to timber.