The Foot and Mouth outbreak has affected the John Muir Trust, like everybody else.  Obviously a responsible attitude had to be taken to access, with popular hills and crofting land on Trust properties.  Slightly different approaches had to be taken between local farming and tourist areas.  Risk assessments were undertaken as soon as practicable and "please stay away" changed to "welcome and please follow the come back code".  Many lessons were learned which we hope will never have to be enacted again.

Projects had to be delayed both locally and nationally, with many work parties being cancelled altogether.  However some long standing schemes have been completed this year, including the Strathaird & Torrin MFS woodlands, the Strathaird Farm owned by the JMT Trading Co entering into a limited partnership with lan McKinnon and the lease has been agreed for 7 years.

On Schiehallion, SNH has approved a grant of £75,000 over 3 years with additional grant earmarked for years 4 and 5 taking the total to £88,000.  The plan for Schiehallion has achieved Stage 1 approval, with Stage 2 possible in early December.  If approval is given, work is expected to start when snow recedes in the spring.

A new Conservation Manager at Sandwood, Cathel Morrison takes over from Will Boyd-Wallis, who moves to the Ben Nevis area.

Locally we are continuing our practical conservation activities in Glen Tanar, working in a small native tree nursery, dismantling old deer fences and some small scale tree planting.  We enjoyed a guided walk around the Birse Community woodland and saw mill.  A return visit was arranged to help the BCT with some tree maintenance.

We are now looking forward to our annual JMT/NEMT ceilidh on November 30th.  For more details of the John Muir Trust contact JMT, 41 Commercial Street, Leith, ED6 6JD Tel 0131 554 0114 or 0131 554 1324 General enquiries, contact Donna on e-mail

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