Applecross is a living, working landscape, and the team continue to tend to its management during the pandemic, with all social distancing measures in place.
Iain MacFadyen has now begun his role as Grieve. He and his wife are settling into Applecross life, and getting to know who is who, despite these difficult times.
David Leat, Chris Wright and Eliza Leat conducted a bird survey in August 2020, the results of which make for interesting reading.
A similar survey was conducted in 2019, and some recording of species undertaken in 2018. It was determined that there were a great number of birds using the native woodland and surrounding parkland for nesting, feeding and breeding. Swallows and House Martins feeding principally on the open pasture fields in the valley and around the house and parkland. Both the cattle pasture and the trees in the parkland were factors in the excellent habitat on the estate.
Everything from starlings, spotted flycatchers, reed buntings and lesser redpolls were recorded and tagged. The native woodland at Clachan, and the trails in that area are particularly important for bird nesting, and there is significant evidence of juvenile birds. However, whilst the total amount of birds ringed and recorded was higher than 2019, the impression was that there were fewer birds passing through.
There is a detailed bird survey if anyone would like further information, available on the Applecross Trust website (www.applecross.org.uk)
Hartfield House hostel
Hartfield is now closed for the time being, which gives the team a chance to address any issues and attend to repairs. Development has also begun on creating additional staff accommodation in preparation for reopening when the time is right.