Our first field trip of 2016 will be at Ardchattan on Saturday 16th January meeting at 10:00 am. At this time of year, our attention turns to lichens, particularly those of Atlantic woodlands, many of which are plentiful in our area but rare nationally and globally.
We will take the old Charcoal Road through ancient oak woods which form part of the Loch Etive Woods Special Area of Conservation, and have a similar history to those of Glen Nant on the other side of Loch Etive.
As well as lichens we should see several kinds of winter fungi and a few birds, perhaps even a red squirrel. Our guide along the route will be Sian Griffiths who is very knowledgeable about the area’s history and wildlife.
The terrain can be very wet underfoot in places. Stout waterproof footwear is essential and wellies are recommended especially if there has been recent rain.
To get there take the road signposted Bonawe immediately north of the Connel Bridge. Carry on for about 6 miles till you see the B845 off to your left signposted Barcaldine. Continue past this junction and the road goes over the river Esragan. About a third of a mile after this you’ll see the sign for Blarcreen House on your right. This is where Sian lives. Drive down to the house and park there. Grid ref is NM 991 352. More directions and picture of house at http://www.blarcreenhouse.com/map.html
Please car-share as much as possible. Lifts available from various places, please ask.
To bring: Packed lunch, hot drink, clothing for all weathers, camera, binoculars, illuminated hand lens, lichen ID charts (all optional)
Looking forward to seeing everyone
Happy New Year