Work continues on clearing invasive rhododendrons from some areas of the estate and our grounds team have made impressive progress over the last few weeks. They’ve cleared a large area of woodland down by the main entrance to the estate. This has created a lovely space under the canopies of sycamores, beeches, and oaks with the soothing sound of the Lephincorrach Burn running alongside.

We’re planning on using the space for a variety of things including wellness events such as outdoor sound baths and yoga sessions. The area has already been put to good use as a base for the first of our Woodland School events. Throughout July and August, we’ll be running free nature-inspired kids’ activities and crafts every Wednesday. These events will be led by Ranger Steve and are intended to encourage kids (and parents) to get outdoors and connect with our natural surroundings. Each session will start with a little factual snippet about a different wildlife or nature element followed by an activity such as scavenger hunts, den building, minibeast hunting, and making bird feeders. Take a look at our events page for more information.

The first of our weekly Woodland School activities

Our next job is to start clearing and reinstating the nineteenth-century pathways above the walled garden to create more walks for guests staying in our holiday accommodation as well as those just visiting the estate for a wander around. The paths will take people past some of the extraordinary champion trees on the estate. There are an impressive number of trees with this status on Torrisdale Castle Estate, each one recognized for their record-breaking height or girth. Plans are in the pipeline to create a ‘Champion Tree walk’ – offering visitors a planned route around the most impressive of these trees and key information on each one.

Feeding stations have now been installed near the estate entrance to encourage our resident red squirrels and they appear to be working well. Staff and visitors have spotted these elusive animals on a fairly regular basis over the last few weeks. One squirrel in particular seems to have become increasingly bold and can be identified by his white-tipped tail – let us know if you spot him too! We’re also planning on adding another feeding station and hide in a fantastic spot near the walled garden, which also has great views of an absolutely huge European Silver Fir.

The red squirrel caught on camera
by Emma

As well as the squirrels, a bank vole has been seen up near the new wildlife pond, which has started to fill with all the recent rain. A common lizard visited the staff room and an Oak Eggar moth has been spotted enjoying the warmth of the polytunnel in the walled garden. Our swallow chicks have finally fledged and are lining the roof of the café and Gin School, looking a little disgruntled that they’re now having to start fending for themselves. Orchids and wild honeysuckle are blooming all over the estate, the latter creating a delicious scent as you walk through the woods.

We’re recording our best nature finds on a board outside the café so make sure to have a look next time you’re here. Don’t forget to join us on our free monthly Wildlife Walk, held on the first Monday of each month with the next one being on August 7th at 10.30 am. More information can be found on Beinn an Tuirc Distillers events page

You might also enjoy: