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Caithness Countryside Volunteers

Caithness Countryside Volunteers Web Site

Who Are We?
The Caithness Countryside Volunteers are a group of individuals with an interest in the countryside and environment. The group promotes and undertakes environmental projects throughout Caithness to improve public access into the countryside, enhance wildlife habitats and upgrade countryside facilities. Past projects have included path maintenance works at Newtonhill Community Woodland, habitat enhancement scheme at Nosshead, beach clean-ups, school wildlife garden work and gorse clearing.

The group meets once a month, normally on Saturday/Sunday mornings at 10am.

Noss Head Tree Planting 24 November 2002

Highland Council Ranger Service
Caithness East Area
Bruce Building

Tel/Fax 01955 607758

To join Caithness Countryside Volunteers complete
Registration Form

Send it by post per address on the form or email an attachment to -
[email protected]

Caithness Critters
The Nature Group For Children

 New volunteers welcome.
Call, Highland Council Ranger with any queries on 01955 607758. 

See Also
Conservation Group - Highland
Caithness & Sutherland Environmental Group

Environmental Links

The Highland Council Ranger Service is constantly working on other environmental projects & additional assistance is always welcome.  If any of the following projects interest you, please get in touch.

Many of the local school in the county are improving their grounds & establishing gardens to attract wildlife. Work includes: erecting fences, building seating/play areas, planting shrubs/plants, weeding & much more.

Project involves building suitable nesting boxes for a range of bird species, including some of the species which are declining in other parts of the country. Boxes will be constructed at Dunnet visitor centre & erected throughout the county.


19 August 08
Caithness Seal Workshop
Caithness Countryside Volunteers enjoyed a workshop on Seals last weekend (Sunday 17th August) held at Waterlines Heritage Centre, Lybster.

The event was organised by The Highland Council Planning and Development Service Countryside Rangers as part of the volunteer programme of events.

Local volunteers meet once a month to undertake a range of environmental projects around the county. This event, funded through the Moray Firth Partnership Community Grant Scheme, was aimed at raising the volunteer’s awareness of seals in the Moray Firth Area.

A PowerPoint presentation was given by Richard Bradley, local co-ordinator for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, who discussed seals of the Moray Firth in great detail.  The follow up boat trip was cancelled due to poor weather but is being rescheduled and volunteers are hopeful to view seals in their natural habitat.

Marina Swanson, East Caithness ranger and workshop organiser said: “We hold a workshop once a year for the volunteers as a thank you for all their efforts through out the year.  We are very fortunate to get funding from the Moray Firth Partnership who has supported the workshops over a number of years. Thank you to Richard Bradley for providing an interesting presentation and to Waterlines for hosting the event and serving an enjoyable lunch.”

The Caithness Countryside Volunteers are always looking to recruit additional members.  If you wish to find out more about the group, please contact Marina Swanson on 01955 607758 or e-mail [email protected]

4 July 08
Action Earth Project . “Flowers For The Forest”
6 volunteers from the Caithness countryside volunteers took part in this project to tidy up the standing dead wood at the entrance to Dunnet Forest and plant some moth and butterfly friendly shrubs. The dead wood was piled up to provide habitat and cover for birds and small mammals and ivy and honeysuckle were planted around the piles.
Action Earth is supported by Morrisons supermarkets and organised by CSV Environment. The countryside rangers organised the event.

4 July 08
CSV Action Earth 2008
Bee o diversity in the cemetery
Ten volunteers took part in this project to increase the richness of the wild flowers in two steep banks in Thurso Cemetery. It is a sunny spot and already attracts butterflies and bumble bees. Bird boxes were also put on to the mature trees. Plugs of wild flowers such as vetches, primula, scabious and ivies and honey suckle were also planted

17 April 08
Caithness Countryside Volunteers Plant New Hedging At Guidebest
The Caithness Countryside Volunteers enjoyed a morning planting a holly, blackthorn and hawthorn hedge on some croft land last weekend, taking a short break to help feed the pet lambs. These species of tree were chosen to provide a biodiversity rich habitat as well as to withstand the Caithness weather. The hedge should also provide shelter for lambs in years to come.  Refreshments and some trees were funded by Community Service Volunteer Action Earth Awards. The event was organised by the Highland Council's Rangers in the Planning and Development Service as part of the Caithness Countryside Volunteers calendar.

28 September 06
Keiss Beach Tidy Up
A group of 19 volunteers took part in this years' Beachwatch at Keiss beach on Saturday 16th September 2006. The clean-up was organised by the Highland Council Planning and Developments' countryside rangers as part of the national event, the most extensive monitoring programme in Europe for coastal and marine litter.

Members of the Caithness Critters, Caithness Countryside Volunteers and members of the public took part in the event to help rid the beach of unsightly and dangerous litter. The group removed marine debris and litter from 110m of rocky shore area by the Keiss beach car park. The types and quantities of litter were recorded for data collection by the Marine Conservation Society. This year at Keiss; plastic, rope, strapping and fishing net accounted for much of the debris.

Marina Swanson, Highland Council's East Caithness Ranger and Saturday's beach clean organiser said: "Sinclairs Bay has seen a dramatic clean up effort for the Beachwatch event this year. Under the direction of Mr Watt, Subsea 7 undertook a very extensive beach clean the day before and removed massive amounts of debris. Our group of volunteers concentrated on a small part of the rocky shore at Keiss and collected several bags
of rubbish, recording everything which was removed. The combined efforts of Subsea 7 and our volunteers have greatly improved the state of the beach for both wildlife and recreational users. Many thanks to everyone who took part."

Beachwatch is coastal environmental initiatives organised by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) www.mcsuk.org  , involving local individuals, groups and communities in caring for their coastal environment. Further information can be found on the internet at: http://www.adoptabeach.org.uk

Refreshments after the event were funded by the Moray Firth Partnership. Highland Council's Countryside Rangers are grant aided by Scottish Natural Heritage. The role of Countryside Rangers is to promote public enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside and to conserve wildlife and habitats.

21 February 06
Almost 30 volunteers turned out to help plant trees at Dunnet forest last Saturday. The planting was organised by Highland Council's Planning and Development Service countryside rangers and Dunnet Forest community forester, Jon Hollingdale as part of the Caithness Countryside Volunteer and Caithness Critter programme of events. A mix of approximately 400 broadleaf trees were planted, staked and guarded in a recent felled area. The event was part of the Community Service Volunteers Action Earth supported by Scottish Natural Heritage. After the tree planting, all the volunteers rested at the Northern Sands Hotel where a sandwich lunch and refreshments were provided.

14 October 05
The school grounds of North Primary, Wick turned into a gardening frenzy last Sunday when a group of 10 volunteers turned out to assist planting in the wildlife area of the school. The wildlife garden has been on-going for three years and has involved a range of projects such as planting broadleaf trees, wildflower plugs and flowering shrubs, constructing a wooden sheltering fence, building a raised flower bed, and provision of seating and picnic tables around the school. Sunday's volunteers planted a range of flowering shrubs including honey suckle, buddlia and flowering currant. The shrubs hope to bring some colour to the garden and attract a range of insects such as butterflies and bees into the area.

Earlier Years Countryside Volunteers Items