Purple seabird with eight metre wing span visits Islay?! Yes, you read it correctly. This is exactly what happened during the story telling workshop that Jeremy Hastings ran as part of the 'Beaches and Birthday Bash' held at Ionad Chaluim Chille ÃŒle (The Columba Centre, Islay) on Saturday the 29th August 2009. Jeremy had everyone enthralled with his dynamic presentation. This event was held to celebrate 10 years of Re-JIG (Recycle â€“ Jura, Islay Group) and also to raise awareness of the Argyll and Bute Beach Forum run by the GRAB Trust (Group for Recycling in Argyll and Bute). Both Re-JIG and the GRAB Trust work together through the Forum to raise awareness of the many problems caused by beach and marine litter and both are involved in supporting communities to clean up beaches. This event brought many like-minded people together to have fun and to learn more about our sealife. Continue reading.....
We were privileged to have a special guest - Dr Mauvis Gore from the Seawatch Foundation who gave a fascinating talk about her research into basking sharks. Last year there was a tag from one of her sharks washed up on Islay. Dr Gore was so appreciative of the efforts made by local people to find it, she offered to return to give a talk as a thank you (as well as giving Â£100 reward to the lucky person who found it!). It was interesting to hear that basking sharks are only at the surface for about 10% of the time, they can reach depths of 1400M and one from Scotland was detected near Newfoundland! Dr Gore is very keen to hear about sightings and has asked that people report sightings to her â€“ this can be done through the website www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk
The day of events also included childrenâ€™s art workshops, an exhibition of childrenâ€™s artwork and a prize giving ceremony. The standard of entries to the competition were exceptionally high. Jane Taylor (local artist) made a great job of displaying the many entries. There were a range of prizes including book tokens that were kindly donated by Dunlossit Estate.
After a delicious lunch thanks to Kristeen McHarrie, Dave Protherough gave an illustrated talk about Re-JIG and Louise Robertson gave a talk about the work of the Argyll and Bute Beach Forum. Guided shore walks were kindly provided by the Islay Natural History Trust. Ann Clark from the Islay Energy Trust also attended to provide information about their work.
A great day was had by all thanks to the hard work of Polly Mather. During the event Â£103 was raised for the Islay lifeboat and the Marine Conservation Trust. Thanks to Port Charlotte Hotel, Coullabus Flowers, Islay Chocolate Shop, Celtic Craft Shop, Laphroaig Distillery, Bruichladdich Distillery and Kilchoman Distillery, for donating some of the prizes. Thanks also to Scottish Natural Heritage, Crown Estate and EB Scotland for their financial support. For more information on Re-JIG check out their website at www.re-jig.co.uk.
This story was published with kind permission of the Ileach local newspaper.