We can’t wait to welcome you to this year’s members gathering in Oban. The gathering will take place from Friday 7th – Sunday 9th October. Tickets and futher information here. We’ve now finalised the program for the weekend and we have some great speakers and visits lined up:
Friday 7th October
Buildings Tour with Marek Wasniewski and Nicky Penford: Marek and Nicky lead us on a tour of the buildings and history of the Dalavich Forest Village. The tour will meet in Taynuilt at 1:30 pm for car sharing and then go to Dalavich.
Registration (and tea) opens at Oban Youth Hostel on Corran Esplanade in Oban from 4:30 pm. Dinner is at 6:30 pm in the nearby Corran Halls, where the rest of the Gathering will be based. At 7:30 we have the Icebreaker, and a Welcome to the area by Gordon Gray Stevens of the Native Woods Cooperative, who shares his long personal experience engaging small groups and large landholders with the vision of landscape-scale restoration.
We’ll also have our regular Soapbox session, where you can bring any ideas or projects to the membership, plus time to catch up with old friends or make new ones.
Saturday 8th October
In the morning Ian Dow and Philippa McKee present a talk about ACT-now, on the theme of Rainforest monitoring and restoration working within Argyll’s smaller communities. Followed by a talk by Philip Price on Project Seagrass, the UK’s first community-led native oyster and seagrass restoration project. As an alternative to the second talk Ross Watson will lead a walk to the nearby Dunollie Wood, a wonderful example of Scotland’s rainforest.
After lunch, there will be a range of local visits to choose from:
- Exploring hazel wood ecology at Ballachuan Nature Reserve, Isle of Seil
- Glasdrum NNR (Nature.scot) – walking and talking on grazing management and lower plants, with lichenologist Andy Acton
- Shoreline Foraging Walk in Appin with seashore cooking demonstration by Duncan Smallman
- A visit to Taynuilt Tree Nursery to learn about this small, profitable, family run native tree nursery with Peter McCraken
- Scottish Rainforest tree seed collecting in Dunollie Wood with trained Woodland Trust Scotland volunteers
We’ll regroup at Corran Halls for dinner at 6pm.
In the evening we have a range of events for the evening; Storytelling with Claire Hewitt; a screening of “Riverwoods: An Untold Story” – a wonderful film by Scotland: The Big Picture; a talk by Andrew Johnson on the Hut of Wellbeing project; Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest‘s short film “The Ghost Rainforest”; plus of course the Dancing Feet Ceilidh Band to keep us going well into the evening.
Sunday 9th October
On Sunday we’ll begin with our Annual General Meeting, recapping our year of new projects and activities.
After coffee, we have a range of practical and discussion workshops to choose from including spoon carving and creative writing. We welcome attendees to suggest and lead workshops, which can evolve from discussions over the weekend, or feel free to get in touch to suggest one beforehand.
The weekend will close after lunch, though often ad hoc walks take place for those who can stay a bit longer.