NÀDAIR THIRIODH – TIREE RANGER SERVICE

Driving on Machair

One of the top priorities I am always asked to promote is preserving our natural environment especially the machair.

One way to do this is to minimise traffic driving off road which is why we now have designated parking areas.

This is probably one of the most emotive and contentious issues I have to deal with and I often get approached by visitors quoting one rule for visitors another for locals. Put simply The Scottish Outdoor Access Code does not permit off road driving for recreational purposes (although a person with a disability using a motorised vehicle adapted for use by that person can have access).

I know most of you will adhere to the above but can I ask all local residents to adhere to the same rules as everybody else and stick to the car parks and not drive off road un-necessarily. If we want visitors to stop driving off-road we need to set a good example ourselves at a local level. Unless you are a land owner or on crofting business (checking livestock, fencing, etc.) there should be no reason to drive off-road.

Dogs

Dog not under control continues to be a problem. I myself caught a dog chasing cattle at Sandaig causing them to stampede. Unfortunately there was a young family in the midst of the chaos and only luck prevented any injury. Needless to say the family were exceedingly frightened but I was fortunate to be able to take control of the dog and put it out of the way in the back of my van and the herd settled.

The issue of keeping dogs under control seems to have been worse this year than in the past so can I please implore all visitors and local residents to keep their dogs under control (preferably on a lead when near livestock).

1. Don’t take your dog into fields where there are lambs, calves or other young animals.

2. Never let your dog worry or attack farm animals

3. If you go into a field of farm animals, keep as far as possible from the animals and keep your dog on a short lead or under close control.

4. If cattle act aggressively and move towards you, keep calm, let the dog go and take the shortest, safest route out of the field.

5. During the bird breeding season (usually April to July) keep your dog under close control or on a short lead in areas such as moorland, forests, grassland, loch shores and the seashore.

6. Pick up and remove your dog’s faeces if it fouls in a public open place or where there is a risk to farming interests.

7. In recreation areas and other public places, avoid causing concern to others by keeping your dog under close control.

Guided Walks

The next batch of walks are:

Ceann a’Mhara 12th and 26th August (meet at Bird Hide car park Loch a’Phuil)

Ringing Stone from Vaul 19th August and 2nd September (meet at Upper Vaul)

Walks start at 10.00 a.m.

We now have a series of printed walks/maps available for free in hard copy at various locations around the island of you can print them off from the “out and about” section on www.isleoftiree.com Thanks

Steve Nagy, Tiree Ranger Tiree Ranger Service 07765449487 or email: accesstrd{@}tireebroadband.com

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