Fiona MacGillivray (INHT Chairperson) writes; After a turbulent winter (and not just the weather!) the Islay Natural History Trust will open its doors again on Monday 2 June. There has been a lot of change since the beginning of the year; the Centre was set to close, but a last minute offer of financial support from Bruichladdich Distillery has given the Trust a reprieve of two years. We are extremely grateful for their generous support which will help cover the rent due to the Youth Hostel as well as some of the overheads of the large space we occupy. We will use this two year period to evaluate how we deliver our goal of championing Islay's wonderful range of wildlife.
The Management Committee has seen fundamental changes, with five new and enthusiastic members on the team. I am the new Chair and Becky Williamson is the new Secretary â€“ our combined experience of running the Centre in previous years will hopefully provide a valuable contribution to the Committee. Alistair Hutchison, with his fungal expertise, is our new Treasurer and along with the enthusiasm of Maggie Birtwell, the geological expertise of David Webster and the experience of the remaining team, we will hopefully bring the Trust and the way it works into a new and exciting phase. Would you believe it will be 30 years old this year! We offer our thanks to departing members of the team: Malcolm Ogilvie, Carl Reavey and James How have worked hard and enthusiastically over the years and we hope they do not wander too far and can cheer on from the sidelines. Continue reading....
We will have a new Centre Manager in place when we open, Christopher Bristow, who comes from finishing his 3rd year at Cumbria University, brimming with enthusiasm and wildlife knowledge. We hope he enjoys the challenge and receives a warm Islay welcome.
All the usual activities will be available, particularly for children. We will hopefully improve many of the displays throughout the season, so if an individual or company would be interested in sponsoring a display board to help cover the printing costs, please get in touch (acknowledgement given per board).
We will be at many events over the summer so come and support us, or come to the Centre for a visit. We are also moving our rambles to Sunday afternoons to allow for more local involvement. A schedule of walks will be posted soon and we will continue to run the family activities throughout July and August.
We will be investigating new ideas over the next couple of months, many of which were provided by members at the AGM in February to hopefully galvanise a clear way forward for the Trust to develop and deliver its work. If you want to find out more or indeed add your ideas, get in touch; we are open to many opinions. Who knows from where the next great idea will come?
Published with kind permission of the Ileach Newspaper