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Bendeallt near Evanton Work Party Sun 4th September 2022

The evening before the event, the weather forecast was for heavy rain all day, so there was a lot of “shall I go, or shan’t I go” conversations taking place. But on the morning of the work party, the forecast had improved somewhat – to heavy rain all morning but clearing after lunch. Amazingly, six people of doubtful sanity turned up, although this included the organisers, who couldn’t very well back out, even though they wanted to.

We met at a public car park in Evanton, at which point it wasn’t raining and we told ourselves the forecast could be wrong. But by the time we had driven up a long track onto the hill to the work site, it was steadily raining, and low wind-driven cloud was scudding past low overhead. We put on a brave face and started work.

Bendeallt Bendeallt

This is one of only a few sites for Netted Mountain Moth (NMM) outside of the Cairngorms and Perthshire, discovered by David Barbour in 1989. The foodplant of NMM is bearberry and this area of bearberry was threatened with being shaded out by encroaching gorse and tree regeneration. Our mission was to clear the scrub and trees with tree poppers, loppers and bowsaws. Although the rain was fairly constant, it was at least mild, and the work site was sheltered from the full effect of the wind.

Bendeallt Bendeallt

It was still raining when we stopped for lunch, the cloud had dropped so low that we had no view, and we were all damp to varying degrees, but we were in good spirits and making good progress.

Bendeallt Bendeallt

The rain stopped and it brightened up after lunch, so we kept going until 4 o’clock, by which time we had cleared all around the bearberry in this area. It was a satisfying job well done. We had triumphed over spiky gorse, and in a show of girl power, Fay and Holly felled three large trees with a very small bowsaw – impressive!

                                Pete Moore



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