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Tiree Ranger News

Hiya folks,

How are we all doing? It’s been a steady few weeks sorting things out after the Christmas break.

It was surprising for me to see such a heavy ground frost for almost a week a few weeks back and I’ve been told it doesn’t usually last that long. I’m working away quietly on things that I can hopefully get folk involved in when it is safe to do so.

The Otter walks were really popular last year and I’ve been keeping an eye on my viewing site and the Otters have been very active no matter what the weather. Please keep sending in any signs or sightings of Otters as I’m building up a picture of the different territories on the island. This includes any records of dead ones.

RTA’s are one of the most common causes of Otter deaths in Scotland and I know it may be upsetting if one runs out in front of you but accidents happen and it’s good to be able to get a hold of the Otter for measurements and aging. Likewise keep sending in any cetacean strandings as well. Thank you to all of you who have done so so far.

A wee shout out to parents and teachers:-I know many of you are home schooling at the moment and it’s just to say that if there’s anything I can do to help just drop me an email. I’m chatting to other Ranger services to see what activities that have been offering that can be done from home and I hope to have some of these available next issue.

So just a short update for now. Myself and the rest of the Trust staff are still home working so it’s best to get a hold of me by email ranger@tireetrust.org.u k


Whilst the Ranger Service has been silent in terms of reporting progress over the winter that doesn’t mean it has been quiet in getting things done.

Brochures and Interpretation Panels

Working closely with Discover Tiree and the RSPB we have been revamping and producing new brochures. The updated Tiree Visitor Map will be out soon along with a new “out and about” day visitor’s brochure for those making use of Thursday afternoon ferry sailings and not taking the “Tiree Tour”.

We are part way through preparing a further four tourist walk maps and a full schedule of weekly guided walks is also due out soon. Some of you may have noticed that frames have appeared at the various parking areas. These will contain information panel’s specific to each location and cover items such as machair, flora and fauna, water sports, island identification montages and identification of whales, dolphins and basking sharks. The boards should be in place during May.


Despite a wet and windy winter we do not seem to have suffered the same degree of coastal erosion as last winter.

The works undertaken at Balephetrish and Crossapol have so far helped stem the onslaught of tide and winds and the general consensus has been that if the remedial works undertaken last year had not been done then further substantial damage would have occurred.

I have also been asked about the posts with yellow markings on at Gott Bay. These have not been installed by the Ranger Service but by Argyll and Bute Council as datum points to measure the effects of erosion. Similar smaller pegs have also been installed along Balephetrish Bay.


The lambing season has barely started along with many young calves also being born and yet the first report of dogs not being kept under control has already reached me. This is a problem that occurs time and again so can I please implore both local and visiting dog owners to keep their dogs under control (preferably on a lead when near livestock) especially at this time of year.

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, machair, 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.

Tiree 2015 Stickers

Looking for something to replace that spot on your windscreen where the tax disc used to go?

The latest Tiree 2015 stickers are now in stock and available from the Ranger, Blue Beyond Gallery, Wild Diamond, Ceabhar Restaurant and Rockvale Guest House. Stickers are priced £5 and all proceeds go back into environmental improvements.


Steve Nagy, Tiree Ranger Tiree Ranger Service

07765449487 or email accesstrd@tireebroadband.com

Tiree Ranger Service – Winter Storms and Tidal Surges

beach_erosionThe tourist season is almost with us. Yes it is March already and the Easter Holidays are only a few weeks away. What will they find when they arrive?

I guess we are all fed up with the wind and rain that seems to have plagued us incessantly since November and have left the machair a flooded quagmire. Along with this winter storms and tidal surges have devastated the dune systems around the island. It is roughly estimated that the equivalent of three to four years normal erosion has taken place in the matter of a few months. It will take years for the damage to rectify naturally, but we can all help to prevent further damage.

Some areas of dunes are no doubt unstable and in some areas war time materials have been unearthed. Both of these pose a potential for accident and potential injury. So what can you do to help?

  • ?Be careful where you walk – try to avoid dune edges and exposed wartime material
  • ?Watch where you park. Stay back from the dune edge which may be undercut and likely to collapse
  • ?Try not to access beaches by walking down dune fronts but by using established tracks
  • ? If accessing beaches with vehicles please use tracks that are already established
  • ?If you are crofting and need sand/shingle please take this from as close to the sea as possible rather than at dune fronts or behind dunes to give dunes a chance to re-establish themselves
  • ?If you have friends or visitors coming to the island in the next few months please ask them to follow the advice given above.

The devastating erosion to Tiree’s dune systems has been raised with Scottish Natural Heritage and Argyll & Bute Council to see what, if any, actions we can take to protect and prevent further damage to our dunes. I will keep you informed in future editions of An’Tirisdeach of how this progresses. Above are pictures of Crossapol in December and March, which show the stark differences from before and after the storms.


bksa_parkingHow quickly a month passes by as Tiree Ranger and a busy one it has been.

The Tiree Wave Kite Masters was a huge success, but I must say a personal thanks to the BKSA organisers of the event who were in touch beforehand for information on protecting the local environment and ensuring their competitors parked responsibly.

As I write the Wave Classic is taking place and again the organisers have been very pro-active in working with me to ensure minimal impact on the machair and that the competitors behave responsibly. Unfortunately there is some bad news. Anti-social behaviour and littering has been occurring in and around the public bird hide next to the Scottish Water pumping station at Loch a’ Phuill. Together with PC Steph Tanner, we will be keeping an eye on this and urge all users of the hide to be vigilant and to tidy up after themselves – many thanks.

On a positive note another couple of guided walks have taken place and have been well attended. I have stopped these now for the winter period, but look forward to starting them again next spring.

The Tiree Ranger Service has now registered with Scottish Countryside Rangers Association. This nationally recognised organisation helps to develop and enhance Ranger services across Scotland and helps Rangers promote the enjoyment, understanding and care of Scotland’s outdoors.

Equal/Disabled Access Group/Forum

I have not yet had anybody express an interest in joining this group/forum so I am asking again. If you are not interested in joining a group, but would prefer to discuss “equal access” on a one to one basis instead, then that would be great as well. I have managed to speak directly with two visiting carers looking after a disabled person and they have given me some good simple ideas on improving access for disabled people. They also stated that they think Tiree is very good for catering for disabled people in comparison to other remote/rural places they have visited.

To re-iterate from my last article, following a number of ideas and requests for help suggested to TRD over the past two years, as part of the Tiree Ranger project, we have obtained some funding to establish and support an “Equal/Disabled Access Group”. This group with the help of the Ranger would map locations (e.g. beaches and other areas of interest) that are accessible/not accessible to disabled people, or those with limited mobility and perhaps also for pushchair users and publish this on the Isle of Tiree website to assist visitors. Once this is done, the intention would be to work with the group to look at how access to difficult to reach locations could be improved and see how these changes could be funded.

If you would be interested in joining or participating in this Equal/Disabled Access Group please contact me on 07765449487 or email me on accesstrd@tireebroadband.com or just stop me and have a word if you see me out and about.

Scottish Countryside Rangers Association

Steve Nagy, Tiree Ranger

Stephen Set To Safegaurd Tiree’s Environment

by Ian Sharp


stephen_nagyIntroducing Tiree’s new full time Ranger, Stephen Nagy, whose job is to safeguard and promote the island’s environment.

Although it’s the first time Tiree has enjoyed a full time Ranger, Stephen himself is not new to the island – he has been living and working on Tiree with his wife Tina for the past three years and is a ”well kent face.” His new post has been put in place after long and detailed applications made by John Bowler, a director of Tiree Rural Development Ltd, to Scottish Natural Heritage and various other organizations for funding. John’s laborious efforts paid off with the announcement that Tiree is to join other areas across Scotland that already have a Ranger service, including Orkney, North Harris, Rum, Mull & Iona, Isle of Bute, and many more.

Stephen’s many duties include welcoming and leafleting camper van and motor home drivers to make sure that they are informed of the need for the protection of sensitive machair. He will be based in the Rural Centre and will also have the task of producing heritage brochures and leaflets for Tiree Chapels, using Tiree roads, local birds, maps and wildlife and heritage guides. Stephen will also be responsible for evolving activities for children, including working with Tiree’s Beaver Scouts and youngsters at the school.Other areas of his workload includes disabled access, organizing guided walks, off road parking areas, and reporting his Ranger activities and news in An Tirisdeach.

Fortunately for Stephen his last job in the policy unit of the chief executive’s office in Northumberland Council involved him in some similar work.

He first came to Tiree as a kite surfer and moved three years ago, working as a qualified electrician until the job of Ranger came up. Stephen, 48, who lives with Tina and their dog Misty at Crossapol, said:

”I am excited about my new job. I will be just as happy working in the office as outside meeting people, although there is not opportunity for my other two hobbies, apart from kite surfing – rock climbing and mountain biking. I would like to thank John Bowler for all his hard work on the various applications, including those for grants for the funding, and for making the job a reality. I would also like thanks to be given to Discover Tiree who provided some of the funding and who helped out with lots of advice about graphics and logo items for our new van. They also gave advice on the tourist focus items in the project plan when we were applying for funding.”

Stephen’s three year contract is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund; Scottish Natural Heritage; Discover Tiree, and Tiree Trust. Ranger events and downloadable walks etc will also be publicized through the new Discover Tiree web-site an by way of the innovative new Tiree phone app, which will work on both phone and tablet.