Scotland’s Argyll Coast and Islands have been declared a Hope Spot – the first in mainland United Kingdom – by international nonprofit Mission Blue to shed light on the immense beauty, rich history and vibrant life along the country’s west coast and to recognise the four community networks (CAOLAS, CROMACH, Friends of the Sound of Jura and Save Seil Sound) that have banded together under the Coastal Communities Network, Scotland, to raise community awareness of the need to encourage protection of Scotland’s unique marine ecosystems. We couldn't be more proud. Read all about it
CROMACH (Craignish Restoration of Marine and Coastal Habitat) have successfully launched the Loch Craignish Oyster Regeneration Project and made it into the Scotsman.
Members of CROMACH community group introduced a thousand juvenile native oysters in cages near Ardfern on the shoreline of Loch Craignish in an important first step to restore this essential keystone species to a sea-loch where it was once abundant. The project, funded by Sea-Changers, and supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, is the first community-led native oyster restoration project in Scotland.
Native oysters used to be commonplace on Scottish shorelines, and a staple food for many, but in the last century human predation and disease wiped out almost all the stocks around the coastline. The native oyster is now critically endangered and they are protected in the few places where they still survive. Science now recognises that native oyster beds are an essential part of a healthy marine eco-system. Each adult oyster can clean and filter 30 gallons of water a day, and oyster reefs provide a vital habitat for a diverse range of other species.
The project at Loch Craignish aims, in due course, to place the young oysters on the seabed where it’s hoped they will spawn, settle and create an oyster reef. If the first batch do well, the plan is to introduce more, and CROMACH is developing a fund-raising scheme by which visitors and other regular users of local waters will be invited to “Adopt an Oyster” in order to raise funds to purchase more native oyster stock and the equipment to rear them.
The project has been grant-aided by Sea-Changers, and supported by Lochnell Oysters based in North Connel which has donated a proportion of the oysters and helped with the equipment and stock. Care and monitoring of the young oysters will be conducted by CROMACH members in conjunction with schoolchildren from the local Primary School in Ardfern. This will include keeping the oysters predator-free as well as measuring growth rates, weight and water quality using Sea-search data recording sheets.
Well done to all the children from Ardfern, Lunga and Croabh who competed in the Mid Argyll Music Festival this week. And good luck to those who still have classes to go! You are all stars.
So it’s been a busy time on the Craignish Peninsula since the last post. We’ve had weddings, we’ve said goodbye to old friends, there have been ceilidhs, cinema nights, boat club sailings, beach cleans, wheel barrow racing, live music, pop-up shops, vegan cafés and that Big Ass Garage Sale.
The summer was unreal, with 5 weeks of no rain, though September seems to be making up for that, although storm Ali was quite frankly a bit of an anticlimax.
Autumn is in the air, the apple trees are full to bursting and nights of cosy fires and local social shenanigans are in the offing. Stay posted!
We have red squirrels on the peninsula, so if you see one perhaps you’d like to report it here...
It was wet and windy, but that didn't deter folk from braving the elements. That's another 40 bags of rubbish off our shores and a Flapper Skate case was found meaning we are one step closer to getting official protection status for our Loch - amazing results all round!
Thanks everyone for looking, see you at the next Beach Clean (and thanks Kintraw crew for the lovely lunch!)
It's that time of year again! Beach Clean!
These beach cleans make such a difference to our local coastline and raise money for the school - if you're visiting come along and lend a hand.
Good luck to all our Craignish Primary and Senior school students who are competing in the Mid Argyll Music Festival this week. What a talented bunch you are, you make us proud every year!
Its been thrilling to see more and more otters racing around our Peninsula but they have absolutely no road sense what so ever, so please drive carefully. Three baby otters with their mum have been seen at Dunvullig Bay, up near the cemetery. And an otter has also been spotted racing past the school!
Last year the Lord of the Isles was a finalist...how amazing would it be this year if they could take an award back to Craobh Haven! The awards they are going for are:
Best Independent Bar
Best Gastro Pub
If you've ever visited please show your support and vote at: http://entertainmentawards.co.uk/vote-now/
It would mean the world to them, thank you very much.