Up towards the top of the hill in front of you is home to our badgers, their sett well hidden in the Larch Wood.
This big, black-and-white-headed woodland dweller is widely recognised, but much less often seen – apart from on our SpyCams of course, making it another popular video on social media. The badger is the largest British member of the family that includes pine marten, weasel, stoat and polecat, all of which have fairly strong body odours. Badgers have a musky smell, so in some places you might smell them more than you’ll see them.
Badgers keep a low profile through much of the winter, holed-up in their underground setts. Boars (males) roam to look for sows (females) in March, and cubs could be coming out from setts on summer evenings from June onwards.
The area on your left is a test for when we start to clear the Sitka Spruce. It was cleared in August 2016 to see what might naturally regenerate – so far not a lot! It may be that the soil will have to rest and recover for a few years or more likely be treated with lime to reduce the acidity.
Standing facing this Info Point you can get a good idea of the size of this our first Reserve. The Oban road you no doubt drove down is at the bottom of the hill behind you, and our land stretches from that road to the first hill in front of you, over the top and down the back. That’s the breadth if you like. Did you notice the little cemetery on the way here, just past Duror? Well from our car park to the cemetery is the length, making it about 220 acres in total.
There is an access point opposite the cemetery and it will form part of the cycle path from Glencoe to Oban in a couple of years time, getting cyclists off this fast and dangerous main road and giving them the opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Reserve.