Darren Flint, Project Manager of the CLLCT writes~;Having started in the role at the end of February, at a time when the loch was extremely high after the extremely wet winter, it is great to see that summer is now on its way. The swallows and sand martins have returned from their African winter migration, the great crested grebes are busy dancing their magnificent mating ritual on the loch, and the air is beginning to buzz with bees and butterflies as the temperatures begin to warm.
Keeping up to date:
I’ve had a refresh of the website – www.castleloch.org,uk – which includes lots of new content about the wildlife, events and how to get involved. The Facebook page is also up and running - www.facebook.com/castlelochlochmaben - which I use for sharing my daily observations and info on up and coming activities. For those of you that prefer Twitter, you can find us @castlelochlochmaben. We have been successful in getting regular stories into the weekly local press, and also been included in the recent Lochmaben newsletter.
We have all sorts of opportunities to get involved at Castle Loch to suit every taste, talent and skills. If you prefer to stay in the dry we need help with events planning, putting up posters and undertaking talks and children’s events. For those of you that prefer to get your hands dirty, we need help with litter picking, cutting back brambles, a spot of digging or path maintenance. This will require all hands on deck from mid-July with the clearance of the route for the new path.
As a ‘rule of thumb’ we run a monthly weekend group on the 1st Saturday and a monthly week-day group on the 3rd Thursday (Note: May week-day group is Tuesday 13th). These usually meet at Lochfield Cottage, by the car park on the A709, and run between 10am – 1pm. The next session will be this coming Saturday to finish clearing the patio area around Lochfield Cottage and litter picking. We are short on gardening tools and gloves, so if you do have your own, please bring along.
As Dumfries & Galloway Council have loaned us a number of litter picking kits, we will also run an adhoc evening session on Thursday 8thMay - meeting at 7.00pm at the car park behind the bowls club.
More information can be found at www.castleloch.org.uk/getting-involved/volunteering.
Other ways to support us:
- Come along to one of our events, these are presently in the planning, so keep your eye on www.castleloch.org.uk/events-activities.
- We still need lots of equipment for Lochfield Cottage and our volunteering work - www.castleloch.org.uk/getting-involved/donate
- Or maybe you would like to have new fleece or polo shirt featuring the Castle Loch logo - www.castleloch.org.uk/getting-involved/buy.
New loch side path and bridge:
From mid-July we will be creating a new footpath, which will run along the eastern edge of Castle Loch and join with the present footpaths, forming a 4.5km circuit of the loch. We plan to have this all completed by early September, and will keep you informed about its progress. Of course we will be holding a big opening event to celebrate its completion - maybe you would like to be one of the first people to walk the new route?
AGM and meetings:
The Trust held its very first and well attended AGM on 25th March, where the winning logo, designed by local school children, was revealed and the new Board of 10 was voted in. At that event I had the joy of meeting many of you and hearing all about your ideas for activities at the loch and keenness to volunteer your time and skills. The Trust holds a monthly steering group meeting throughout the year, which members are welcome to attend. www.castleloch.org.uk/the-trust
If you have any questions, interest in any of the above, or something in your attic or garage that you think we could put to good use, then please do not hesitate to contact me.
I hope to see you out and about around Castle Loch soon. Let’s hope for a fine summer ahead.
PS It is always a challenge to reach everyone with details about what is going on, and not everyone has access to a computer or email, hence us also using the local press, newsletters and posters. If you know someone who might be interested in this update and isn’t on email, please could I ask the favour of spreading this by word of mouth.
Pothole hotline - report road defects on 0845 2760000