Last week 42 Rangers and Managers (and two dogs) from the National Trust for Scotland arrived at Barnluasgan to find out about the Scottish Beaver Trial. Every year they have a conference and chose a different destination in Scotland where they can all meet up, visit an area they may not have been to before, and experience another organisation’s site. We were very pleased that they picked us as one of their destinations for this year, and really enjoyed showing them around.
We split the group in two and went for a walk in opposite directions around loch Coille-bharr. Although it was mid morning, and there was very little chance of actually seeing the beavers themselves, there was plenty of beaver evidence to be seen, and lots of beautiful autumnal views to apreciate. The groups were shown an example of a beaver chew stick and chips, and during the walk, everyone managed to find their own for a souvenir to take home to show friends and family.
They saw and handled a beaver skull and pelt, were told about the Knapdale beaver families, how they arrived in Knapdale, and how they have got on over the monitoring period of the Trail. like many visitors, many were surprised by how large the animals can grow, and this was demonstrated beautifully by one of the dogs wearing the beaver pelt!
A highlight of the walk was finding a large elder tree which has recently been felled by the beavers at the south end of the loch near their lodge. The teeth marks on the stump of the tree are always popular and most people cant resist running their fingers over them and remarking on how sharp their teeth must be to make such smooth cuts.
We were very lucky with the weather, and managed to get round the loch with only one brief shower before storm Abigail was due to kick in during the afternoon. A quick packed lunch was eaten, and then the group were off for another walk around Crarae gardens, where hopefully it would be a bit more sheltered.