RSPB Corrimony

"A holiday for the mind, body and soul. Loved it."

Alice, Edinburgh

Corrimony weeks are based at the RSPB reserve near the Strathglass Special Area of Conservation. This is an upland site of 1531 ha, half of which is being returned to Caledonian Forest. Situated just over 20 miles south-west of Inverness, the reserve lies close to both Glen Affric and Dundreggan and contains a number of habitats, including bog, heath, semi-natural birchwood and some beautiful remnants of ancient Caledonian Forest. Many rare bird species are found here.

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The aim of our work here is to help the RSPB to restore both Caledonian Forest and wetland to an area of former conifer plantation. The main task volunteers will help with is removal of non-native species such as lodgepole pine and sitka spruce, to create space for native trees to grow. Other tasks may include removal of deer fences and blocking drainage ditches previously ploughed for commercial forestry, to help restore and maintain the reserve's mires and bog pools. Some of the work sites are remote and may require up to an hour's walk over rough terrain, so a good level of fitness is necessary.

Accommodation is at the Tomich Holiday Chalets . These spacious, well-equipped lodges are set amongst tranquil birch woodland. There are on-site laundry and drying facilities, a games room and, from April - October, a swimming pool.

Sleeping bag not required.

Loch Ness is within easy reach and provides numerous options for your day off, including the popular Loch Ness Monster Exhibition at Drumnadrochit, boat trips on the loch from Fort Augustus, and the famous Urquhart Castle, only 15 miles away. Plodda Falls and Culligran Falls are other popular locations to visit. For the more adventurous amongst you, there are a number of Munroes (mountain peaks over 3,000 feet in elevation) to tackle in the area. If you fancy a day's shopping, the Highland capital of Inverness is only a short bus journey away.

Please note that the day off is also a day off for the leaders of the week. The minibus may sometimes be available for use as a group but you may need to rely on local transport to reach some of these locations.

The RSPB reserve is home to various rare bird species, including the Scottish crossbill, red-throated diver, black grouse, crested tit and magnificent golden eagle. On recent weeks we have also been lucky enough to see hen harriers and short-eared owls.

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