Islay High School Students Going for a John Muir Award

This summer on Islay we’re seeing an innovative new project - Comunn na Gàidhlig are coordinating a project involving 5 high schools in the Highlands and Islands where, for the first time ever, pupils can gain a John Muir Award in Gaelic. 4 Islay High School pupils have been working on this since the beginning of the year, focussing on Loch Gruinart as their ‘wild place’, an area known both for its abundant wildlife and its fascinating history. The John Muir Trust has been offering these Awards since 1997. They’re designed to involve fun and adventure, with creative ways of exploring, understanding and conserving our environment, encouraging teamwork and sharing. It’s a great way of exploring the outdoors, being creative, building confidence and teamwork.

Lauren MacGregor, Caitlin Marrion, Heather Hope and Mairi McGillivray are working together with staff at the RSPB reserve at Gruinart, and Morvern McPhee of Islay High School is mentoring and providing language support. They will each work towards giving a guided tour for Gaelic medium families on Islay before meeting up with students from high schools in Portree, Inverness, Mallaig and Ardnamurchan at a 3-day residential at Tulloch near Roy Bridge in June. Continue reading...

The focus of the conservation project is the corncrake, and the school team have been looking at the best conditions for nesting, and the ecosystem as a whole: fields, trees, plants, animals, farming and bats! And the importance of reporting hearing the distinctive call of the corncrake for monitoring numbers in different areas. As well as being a beautiful nature reserve with abundant bird and wildlife, Gruinart’s history is significant for Islay as it’s the site of the famous clan battle fought between the MacDonalds and the MacLeans. The story of the battle is the stuff of local myth and legend, inspiring the admired William Livingstone poem. It’s an opportunity for young people to develop their use of Gaelic at a site that’s significant both in Islay’s history and vital in developing today’s environment.

Gun robh math agaibh - thanks to Argyll and Bute Council, Comann nam Pàrant, Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle and to the team at the RSPB for their input so far. For more information on the John Muir Award in Gaelic and other activities supported by Iomairt Ghàidhlig Ìle `s Dhiùra contact local development officer Lynn MacDonald on 810297 or by email - tha sinn a coimhead air adhart ri cluintinn bhuaibh.

Tag: john muir award islay high school rspb corncrake