Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Ranger walks

The 2009 booklet for Caithness & SUtherland's guided ranger walks has been published. Here are the ones near me, a few of which I hope to go on.

North Sutherland
Wed 6th May: 12-3 Scullomie to Sletell
Coastal hill walk to the abandoned post clearance settlement of Sletell. Lots of plants and hopefully displaying newts in pool.

Tues 19th May: 10-2 Armadale Burn
As part of biodiversity week enjoy a walk along this steep sided river gorge to see masses of common primroses, other plants and archaeology. Shallow river ford to cross.

Fri 22nd May: 5-7 Strathy Point Sea Watch
Look for whales and dolphins at Strathy Point as part of biodiversity week. Telescopes provided, bring binoculars.

Tues 26th May: 2-4.30 Strathy Picts, Priests and Pools
Walk to see the Pictish Priest's Stone, then on to the Rocking Stone (used to call the clan) and return via a lovely bog pool system.

Tues 2nd June: 10-2 Invernaver - Broch and Beach
Wonderful wildflowers and one of the best beaches in Sutherland. Lunch in the remains of a Broch with stunning views. Steep 100m walk to Broch remains.

Fri 5th June: 1-4 Talmine Treasures
Masses of beautiful plants, including lesser butterfly orchids. Interesting geology and possibly even porpoise to see en route to Port Vasgo.

Tues 9th June: 2-4 See the Point
Bracing cliff top walk around Strathy Point headland. Sea caves, birds and a superb show of sea pink (thrift). Possibly a whale or porpoise to be seen.

Wed 10th June: 6-7.30 Amble around Lamigo
Join the ranger for an early evening walk around a local croft to see the wildflowers encouraged to grow there, including lesser butterfly orchids.

Fri 12th June: 12-4 Cnoc an Fhreiceadeain (Watch Hill)
Fantastic views over the Kyle of Tongue and surrounding area from the Watch Hill (307m) then head on to Ben Tongue.

Wed 17th June: 2-5 Puffin Along to Melvich
View the best puffin colony on the north coast then enjoy a great coastal cliff top walk along to Melvich bay.

Fri 19th June: 5-7 Seawatch at Portskerra
Bring binoculars and look for whales and dolphins at Portskerra with the ranger. Telescopes provided.

Tues 30th June: 5-7 Seawatch at Strathy Point.
Early evening sea watch at Strathy Point. Look for whales and dolphins. Telescopes provided, bring binoculars.

Thurs 2nd July: 2-5 Skerray's Stunning Coast
Lovely views across Torrisdale Bay and out to Island Nieve. High cliff top walk with great geology and plants.

Tues 21st July: 3-5 Farr Bay and Bumblebees
Amble around Farr Bay with the ranger looking at plants and our bumblebee reserve. Hopefully see the extremely rare great yellow bumblebee.

Wed 22nd July: 1-3 Tongue Rockpools
Bring the whole family and have fun rock pooling with the ranger in the Kyle of Tongue. Some nets provided, but also bring your own and wellies.

Fri 24th July: 2-5 Strathy Bay
Explore Strathy Bay with the ranger. Can we find the legendary Captain Ivy's Cave? Bring a torch and let's see.

Tues 28th July: 3-4.30 Puffin Watch
Join the ranger at the largest puffin breeding colony in the area to view the antics of these popular clowns of the ocean. Telescope provided, but bring your binoculars.

Wed 29th July: 10.30-12.30 Farr Bay Sand Dolphins
Bring the whole family and help build a sand sculpture of a pod of dolphins. See how many we can create and photograph. Bring buckets and spades.

Thurs 30th July: 2-5 Ard Mor - Bettyhill
Scottish Primrose, lots of other plants and possibly porpoise to be seen on this fantastic headland walk. High cliffs.

Tues 4th August: 12-4 Loch Meadie guided walk
Fairly demanding hill walk along loch side and on to Ben Meadie (200m). Look out over the vast expanse of wild country, return via same route.

Wed 5th August: 1-3 Portskerra Rockpools
Rockpools are not just for the kids! Bring the whole family and have some fun learning about the creatures to be caught here at Portskerra. Brings nets and wellies.

Fri 7th August: 3-5 Strathy Point Seawatch
Guided sea watch looking for whales, dolphins or porpoise from this hot spot. Telescopes provided, bring binoculars.

Tues 11th August: 10-12 Castle Varrich
Take a leisurely stroll with the ranger up to Castle Varrich in Tongue looking at the varied wildlife and discuss the origins of the castle remains.

Tues 11th August: 2-4.30 Tongue Causeway to Ard Skinid
Walk alongside the Kyle of Tongue looking at the natural history, local history and geology in this beautiful setting.

Wed 12th August: 11-1 Pond Dipping
Learn about the creatures we catch in Nelly's Pool at Bettyhill. Bring all the family and have a go. Limited nets provided so also bring your own and your wellies.

Fri 14th August: 2-4.30 Strathy Picts, Priests and Pools
Walk to see the Pictish Priest's Stone, then on to the Rocking Stone (used to call the clan) and return via a lovely bog pool system.

Tues 18th August: 2-5 Portskerra to Strathy Bay
Stunning hidden coastal walk with promontory fort and old lime kilns. Fantastic views and lots of wildlife.

Thurs 20th August: 2-4 See the Point
Bracing cliff walk around Strathy Point headland. Sea caves, birds, plants and possibly whales or dolphins to be seen.

Fri 21st August: 1-4.30 Armadale to Poulouriscaig
Exhilarating hill walk out to the deserted post clearance village of Polouriscaig. Return via same route.

Tues 25th August: 7-9.30 Simply Batty
Construct your own bat roosting box with help from the ranger and Forestry Commission Scotland. Later join us at a small local bat roost to see the midge munchers emerging.

Fri 28th August: 8.30-10 Betty's Bats
Join the ranger and use our bat detectors to find and learn about the local Bettyhill bats as they hunt for insects.

Thurs 3rd September: 10.30-12.30 Armadale Bay
Join the ranger on a bracing walk at Armadale Bay. Let's see if the 'dragon' is roaring at the gloup.

Wed 16th September: 11-1.30 Torrisdale Bay - egg case hunt
Join the ranger looking for skate and ray egg cases along Torrisdale Bay. Let's see which species are found there.

Tues 6th October: 11-1 Lochan Hakon - cup and ring stone
Join the ranger for a short walk to see the cup and ring marked stone at Lochan Hakel and hear about the Jacobite gold.

Thurs 8th October: 11-1.30 Arnabol Archeology
Take a walk along the west shore of Loch Hope to Arnabol and see some of the rich archaeological remains found there amongst the wonderful scenery.

Caithness

Sun 22nd March: 10 Dunnet Head East and West
Full day walk, drivers returned to cars. Boots, waterproofs and lunch required.

Sun 29th March: Meet 2-2.30 Have a go Orienteering
Try this popular sport using the trails and maps set in Dunnet Forest. Bring a compass if you have one or we can supply. Booking essential.

Sun 19th April: 2 St John's Point and the Haven
Walk over the headland to the ancient promontory fort and hidden harbour. Following the cliff we will reach the seal haven.

Wed 22nd April: 4-6 Wick River Stroll
A very relaxed walk along the river, taking in early flowers and other wildlife.

Sun 26th April: 10.30 Duncansby to Skirza cliff top walk
A walk along dramatic cliffs. Signs of seabirds and seals. All day walk. Wear boots and warm waterproof clothing. Bring lunch.

Wed 6th May: 11-1.30 Burials, Brochs and Bogs
Explore a landscape teeming with history, from stone age to the present, and learn about the wildlife on the way. Take lunch.

Sun 10th May: 10.30 Keiss to Freswick
A walk of brochs and castles with some natural history thrown in. Wear boots and warm waterproof clothing. Bring lunch.

Wed 13th May: 11-1 Cliffs, Cairns and Brochs
A short but beautiful walk along the cliffs and into the forest.

Sun 17th May: Ship A Hoy
Sail in the Pentland Venture to Hoy, then bus to Rackwick. Explore Rackwick Bay or walk to the Old Man, possibly seeing cetaceans, hares and skuas. £30.00 for transport.

Wed 20th May: 11-2.30 Heritage, Herring Gulls and Heady Heights
A spectacular walk to the old herring station. Enjoy a nice picnic among wild flowers, wildlife and old stones.

Sun 24th May: 10.30 Castle of Old Wick to Sarclet
Head south from the Norse castle to the herring station at Sarclet. Good time of year for seabirds. Bring lunch.

Wed 3rd June: 11-1.30 The Needle and Nests
Join us on a cliff top walk to view a spectacular natural arch and an amazing array of seabirds.

Thurs 4th June: 7.30 Puffins and More
Walk through some spectacular scenery to the local puffinry and see what else appears. Bring boots, warm clothes and waterproofs.

Sun 7th June: Swona and Muckle Skerry
Sail in the North Coast Explorer to the Pentland Skerries and Swona. Enjoy their history and wildlife. If conditions are right, we should land on Swona. Wear warm clothing, although dry suits are provided.

Tues 9th June: 2 Bees, Butterflies and Lighthouses
See if we can spot some small blue butterflies and bees on our way to the blow holes and geos of this beautiful headland.

Thurs 11th June: 10 Moths Matter
After a slideshow in Seadrift join us in emptying out our traps set in Dunnet Forest the night before.

Sun 14th June: 10.30 Whaligoe to Lybster
A coastal walk linking two historical herring harbours. Good lookouts for seabirds, seals and cetaceans. Full day walk, boots and warm clothing essential.

Tues 16th June: 2 Do the Butterfly Walk
Join the ranger in a walk to monitor the local butterflies and spot the rare
small blue butterfly.

Wed 17th June: 11-1 Blow Holes at the Blow hole.
National Whale and Dolphin Watch. Learn about the whales and dolphins of the Caithness coast. Visit a blow hole and help with the national survey by sea watching on a beautiful cliff top.

Thurs 18th June: 10.30 Duncansby to Skirza cliff walk.
From these cliffs we have a good chance of spotting Minke whale as well as seeing the seabird colonies, seals and striking cliff scenery. All day walk. Wear boots and warm, waterproof clothing. Bring lunch.

Tues 23rd June: 7 Holborn Head Highlights evening walk
This cliff top walk passes blow holes and stacks where you can see coastal plants, seabirds and possibly dolphins. Stout footwear, arm clothing.

Wed 24th June : 6-9 Coastal Treasures of the Wick coast
Experience the sights and smells of an amazing seabird colony set amid the beauty of the East Caithness coast. Discover sea stacks, natural arch and caves along the way.

Sun 28th June: 10.30 Lybster to Latheronwheel
Half day walk ending up in pretty Latheronwheel. Warm waterproof clothing.

Wed 8th July: 11-2.30 Battle Site at Altimarlich
Follow the Wick river to the ancient battle site. Enjoy the wildlife and sights along the way.

Wed 8th July: 2pm Dunnet - Beach, Dunes and Forest
A walk on the beach through the dunes and into the local community woodland to get to know this fascinating area and its varied habitats. Good places for butterflies.

Fri 10th July: 11 To the Mermaid's Lair
A cliff walk along Dwarick Head to the place where the local mermaid claimed her revenge. Beautiful scenery. Bring a light snack.

Sun 12th July: 10.30 Dunbeath to Berriedale
Half day walk on a relatively unexplored section of the cliffs.

Wed 15th July: 2-4.30 Dunbeath Strath
Enjoy the beautiful birch and hazel woodland, meandering river and abundant wildlife which thrive in this sheltered strath.

Thurs 16th July: 2 Duncansby Head circular walk
From these sculpted cliffs look out at the breeding seabirds and discover specialised plants.

Tues 21st July: 7 Holburn Head Evening Highlights walk
This cliff top walk passes blow holes and stacks where you can see coastal plants, seabirds and possibly dolphins.

Wed 22nd July: 2-4 Castles and Crabs
Enjoyable shore walk passing a traditional harbour and 16th century castle ruins looking at shore life, plants and birds.

Thurs 23rd July: 11 To the Mermaid's Lair
A cliff top walk along Dwarick Head to the place where the local mermaid claimed her revenge. Beautiful scenery. Bring a light snack.

Sun 26th July: Opening Munsary walk
Details to follow.

Wed 29th July: 7 Dunnet - Beach, Dunes and Forest
Evening walk on the beach through the dunes and into the local community woodland to get to know this fascinating area and its varied habits.

Wed 5th August: 2-5 Walk around Watenan
Enjoy a landscape rich in archaeology and wildlife.

Thurs 6th August: 2 Northern Cliffs (Drumhollistan to Sandside Bay)
Enjoy this beautiful coastal scenery and the plants and birds living on the edge.

Tues 11th August: 7 Holburn Head Highlights evening walk
Details as before.

Thurs 13th August: 2 St John's Point and the Haven
Walk over the headland to the ancient promontory fort and hidden harbour. Following the cliff we will reach the seal haven.

Wed 19th August: 7 Dunnet - Beach, Dunes and Forest
Details as before.

Wed 26th August: 11-2.30 Secret Village of Badryie
A fascinating circular walk by Loch Stemster taking in the abandoned crofting village of Badryie, Achavanich standing stones and burial cairn.

Sun 6th September: History from the waves
Discover the history and archaeology of this fascinating part of the north coast and see it from the eye of an invader travelling by boat. Cost £21.00.

Fri 18th September: 11-2 Cliffs and Forests
A nice circular walk taking in the views from the cliffs and the forest. Bring packed lunch.

Fri 18th September: 11-3 The Village on the Cliffs
Come for a walk along the cliffs towards the village of Badbea and view the village from a different angle. Rough walking in places.

Sun 20th September: 10.30 Berriedale to the Ord
Full day walk on these east coast cliffs. Warm waterproof clothing and boots.

Sun 27th September: 11-1 Badbea, the Story
Follow a special guest on a tour through the abandoned village and hear the story around it.

Wed 7th October: 11-1.30 Burials, Brochs and Bogs
Explore a landscape teeming with history from stone age to present and learn about the wildlife on the way.

Sun 18th October: 2 Staxigoe to Ackergill
This is a good time and place for migrant birds passing Castle Sinclair, Girnigoe.

Wed 18th November: 2-4 Corbigoe Coast
Cliff top walk to view a spectacular natural arch and possibly grey seal pups.

2 comments:

Dannie said...

All these walks sound great. Do you know where i can get this book from as i'll be in Sutherland in June? Thanks dannie

Caroline said...

Hi Dannie - the whole thing is online here:

http://www.highland.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/8F70E038-8355-4261-9381-473D1579894E/0/Caithnesseventbooklet2009.pdf

or you can collect a copy from any Highland Council Service Point or Tourist Information Centre from the end of March.