Highlands Cotoneaster Clearance Work Party

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Highlands Cotoneaster Clearance Work Party
Thursday 24th April 2014 - Sunday 27th April, anytime 10:30am - 4pm
Kilninian, Mull

Details:  The day-flying Slender Scotch Burnet moth is known from only 6-7 sites on Mull, Ulva and Gometra and nowhere else in the UK.  The moth inhabits low cliffs and grassy banks on or near the coast.  Furthermore it is usually restricted to slopes with a sunny, south-facing aspect, with underlying basalt rock where its caterpillar’s sole foodplant, bird’s-foot trefoil, grows in short, flower-rich vegetation, with some bare ground.  

However, on the cliffs near Kilninian, the moth is threatened by encroachment from Cotoneaster.  This invasive non-native shrub has escaped from gardens and has become well-established on the thin-soiled species-rich undercliffs and on the cliffs themselves. 

Since 2007 we have been waging battle against the cotoneaster with both volunteers and contractors.  Encouragingly, the moth was re-discovered at the site in 2012 after an absence of four years. 

Coille Alba has now secured funding to work in partnership with Butterfly Conservation Scotland to progress this control programme over the next three years.  We are therefore seeking volunteers to help cut back the cotoneaster with hand tools (secateurs and loppers) whilst newly trained and qualified local volunteers will treat the cut stumps with herbicide to prevent them from regrowing. 

Directions.  Kilninian lies on the west coast of Mull between Calgary and Ulva Ferry.  Please follow our road signs to the track that leads down to the site which is immediately to the east of the Allt na Cille burn at grid ref NM403457.  Cars can either be left at the top of the track or carefully driven down and parked at NM402455.  Coloured flags wil then mark the route out to the work site on the undercliffs at NM404449.

What’s needed:  It is essential that you wear boots with a good grip and ankle support as we will be working on steep grassy slopes.  Also wear old clothes, bring gloves, and a packed lunch.  Hand-tools (secaturers and loppers) as well as gloves will be available but feel free to bring your own. 

Other information:  Please call in even it is just for an hour anytime over the four days as every little helps

For more information:  Please contact the leaders

Leaders:  John Parrot (CA) on Thursday and Friday.  Tom Prescott (BCS) on Saturday and Sunday.

Leader contact details: 
John;  Tel: 01456 486426 Mob: 07799 728768 E-mail: john.parrott@coillealba.org.uk 
Tom;  Tel: 01540 661469  Mob: 07979 785665 E-mail: tprescott@butterfly-conservation.org