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Thistle Camps 2014 Scottish Working Holidays

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www.nts.org.uk/thistlecamps


Thistle Camps 2014

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2014 THISTLE CAMPS – Age 18+ SOUTH & WEST

NORTH EAST & CENTRAL

pg 3 - 8

BEN LOMOND 1 (LIVING HISTORY) Sat 22 – Sat 29 March

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HILL OF TARVIT 1 (SPRING) Sat 1 – Sat 8 March FALKLAND PALACE 1 (SPRING) Fri 7 – Fri 14 March PITMEDDEN 1 (ESTATE) Sat 8 – Sat 15 March DRUM CASTLE (WILLOW WEAVING) Fri 14 – Fri 21 March NORTH PERTHSHIRE WOODLANDS 1 (SPRING) Sat 22 – Sat 29 March

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MAR

APR

BRODICK 1 Sat 12 – Sat 19 April BURNS COTTAGE Sat 19 – Sat 26 April NEW CRARAE Sat 26 April – Sat 3 May NEW

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MAY

JUN

BURG Sat 7 – Sat 14 June THREAVE BAT CAMP Sat 14 – Sat 21 June CULZEAN CASTLE 1 (BAT CAMP) Sat 21 – Sat 28 June CULZEAN CASTLE 2 Sat 28 June – Sat 5 July

JULY

THREAVE ARCHAEOLOGY NEW Fri 4 – Fri 11 July GLENCOE DYKING Sat 12 – Sat 19 July IONA 2 dates tbc spring 2014 – see website IONA 3 (ARCHAEOLOGY) dates tbc spring 2014 – see website

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OCT

NOV

MAR LODGE ESTATE 1 Sat 7 – Sat 14 June

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TORRIDON 1 Sat 29 March – Sat 5 April

CASTLE FRASER Sat 5 – Sat 12 July CRAIGIEVAR CASTLE (DYKING) Sat 12 – Sat 19 July

BEN LAWERS Sat 10 – Sat 17 May UNST ARCHAEOLOGY Mon 19 – Thu 29 May WEST AFFRIC Sat 31 May – Sat 7 June

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pg 15 - 21

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V V NEW

FAIR ISLE 2 Tue 22 July – Tue 5 August INVEREWE 3 (GARDEN) Sat 26 July – Sat 2 August

ST KILDA WORK PARTIES Age 18+ Page 13 - 14

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FAIR ISLE 1 Tue 24 June – Tue 8 July TORRIDON 2 Sat 21 – Sat 28 June KINTAIL 2 (KAYAKING) Sat 28 June – Sat 5 July

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BEN LOMOND 3 (LIVING HISTORY) Sat 23 – Sat 30 August

SEP

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CULZEAN CASTLE 3 Sat 6 – Sat 13 September GLENCOE KAYAKING Sat 13 – Sat 20 September NEW

HADDO HOUSE 1 Sat 10 – Sat 17 May

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HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS

BALMACARA Sat 5 – Sat 12 April KINTAIL 1 Sat 5 – Sat 12 April INVEREWE 1 (GARDEN) Sat 12 – Sat 19 April INVEREWE 2 (ESTATE) Sat 19 – Sat 26 April CANNA 1 Sat 26 April – Sat 3 May

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GREY MARE’S TAIL Sat 3 – Sat 10 May IONA 1 Sat 10 May – Sat 17 May BEN LOMOND 2 Sat 17 – Sat 24 May BRODICK 2 (FOOTPATHS) Sat 31 May – Sat 7 June

AUG

pg 9 - 12

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WORK PARTY 1 Wed 21 May – Wed 4 June

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WORK PARTY 2 Wed 4 – Wed 18 June

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WORK PARTY 3 Wed 18 June – Wed 2 July

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NB St Kilda work parties have a separate booking system to Thistle Camps – please contact our Inverness Office on 0844 493 2237 for details of how to apply.

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TRAILBLAZERS

Age 16 & 17 Scotland wide Page 22 - 25

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V CANNA 2 Sat 9 – Sat 16 August CULLODEN DYKING Sat 16 – Sat 23 August CANNA 3 Sat 30 August – Sat 6 September

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ABERDEENSHIRE PROPERTIES Sat 6 – Sat 13 September MAR LODGE ESTATE 2 Fri 12 – Fri 19 September PITMEDDEN 2 (APPLE HARVEST) Mon 22 – Mon 29 September

VD V V V DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY PROPERTIES HADDO HOUSE 2 Sat 4 – Sat 11 October V V D Sat 11 – Sat 18 October CULZEAN CASTLE 4 NORTH PERTHSHIRE WOODLANDS 2 (AUTUMN) Sat 18 – Sat 25 October Sat 11 – Sat 18 October V D V IONA 4 (DYKING) THE PINEAPPLE Sun 19 – Sun 26 October 18 – Sat 25 October NEW V V D Sat HILL OF TARVIT 2 (AUTUMN) Sat 25 October – Sat 1 November VD FALKLAND PALACE 2 (AUTUMN) Sat 1 – Sat 8 November VD

V D V

INVEREWE 4 (ESTATE AND AULTBEA) Sat 20 – Sat 27 September INVEREWE 5 (GARDEN) Sat 27 September – Sat 4 October

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TORRIDON 3 (FOOTPATHS) Sat 4 – Sat 11 October

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HOUSE OF DUN (ARCHAEOLOGY) Sat 19 – Fri 25 July MAR LODGE Sat 19 – Fri 25 July

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BRODICK FEMALE Sat 26 July – Fri 1 August KINTAIL Sat 26 July – Fri 1 August

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BEN LOMOND Sat 2 – Fri 8 August GLENCOE Sat 2 – Fri 8 August BEN LAWERS Sat 9 – Fri 15 August

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Introduction Welcome to our new and exciting programme of Scottish working holidays for 2014! A working holiday may sound like an odd idea, but you’d be surprised – the National Trust for Scotland’s Thistle and Trailblazer Camps offer more fun, excitement and achievement than you’d ever have on the average week off. If you’re passionate about conservation, getting outdoors, or simply enjoy getting your hands dirty, then read on – you could make a real difference to Scotland’s natural heritage. Thistle Camps are residential working holidays based at National Trust for Scotland properties that help the NTS, Scotland’s leading conservation charity, to conserve and manage the historic locations under its care. Campers will live and work in some of Scotland’s most remarkable and remote places over a week or so of exciting and rewarding experiences. No prior experience is required for most of our camps, as work is always fully explained and techniques always demonstrated. The camps are made up of eight to twelve volunteers of many ages and backgrounds. As Thistle Campers you’ll be sharing your accommodation, be it a basic bothy or a luxury farmhouse, with your fellow campers, chipping in on the communal tasks of cooking and cleaning.

WORKING HOLIDAY GRADING SYSTEM

KEY TO SYMBOLS Project symbols Archaeology – the camp is wholly or partly archaeology-based Gardening – the camp is wholly or partly gardening-based Dyking – the camp is wholly or partly dyking-based

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Our Thistle and Trailblazer Camps continue to increase in popularity and to help all of you aspiring campers find places we are increasing the number of camps we run for the fifth year running. Some highlights for 2014 include:

CONTENTS

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Thistle Camps Programme 2014

1

South & West Scotland

3

North-East & Central Scotland

9

Highlands & Islands

15

Trailblazers

22

How to Apply

26

General Information

27

More Volunteer Groups

29

• Exciting practical projects, including learning dyking at Culloden or Glencoe, and footpath work at Torridon and Arran • First-time visits to 3 new properties at Crarae, the Pineapple and Burns Cottage • The chance to get active with a new Glencoe Kayaking camp, a twin of our successful Kintail Kayaking camp

From lowland gardens to wild mountains and remote islands, there’s a vast range of working holidays for you to choose from. Also for 2014, we are continuing our driver discount scheme. There are many camps where it would be helpful to have an extra driver to share the load with our leaders, in exchange for a 10% discount on the camp. If you are willing and able we’d like to hear from you, so please do make sure you answer the driving questions on the application form.

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1

Upland or strenuous work involved, a certain level of fitness is required

1

Female – female-only camp Double bed discount - the camp has one double bed in the accommodation, and those willing to share it may be eligible for a discount (see booking section for details) Camping (tent provided) Kayaking – the camp involves kayaking

Accommodation symbols

HIGH

10 Remoteness

10

Fitness/Work – a camp with a high rating will demand more from you, either in strength, repetitive fitness or the ability to walk and carry items for long distances. Please read the descriptions and key points for each camp. Remoteness – a camp with a high remoteness rating may be something that attracts you, but please be aware that shops may be scarce so you need to be prepared. Remote camps may also have limited health support and, if anything were to go wrong, may require emergency evacuation – please do consider any health issues you have and if necessary consult your doctor before applying.

Duvets/bed linen available

ACCOMMODATION GRADING SYSTEM

Tents – bring sleeping bag/pillow

SIMPLE: Bothy, simple hostel or tents. Basic cooking/washing/showering facilities, usually with shared sleeping areas.

Drying room Accommodation heated Showers Bath Washing machine

2

Fitness level required

Beds – bring sleeping bag/pillowcase

Tumble dryer

NB: Whilst Thistle Camps are open only to those aged 18 or over, special six-day Trailblazer camps run for 16- and 17-year-olds to give them a taste of life on a working holiday.

LOW

Survey – the camp is wholly or partly species survey-based

Driver Discount – the camp may require help with driving. Please tick yes on ‘willing to drive for the Trust’ on your application if you wish to be considered. We will be in touch if we are able to offer the discount (see booking section for details).

• A record number of camps this year with a total of 66 camps, up 10 on last year, with several new exciting projects, stunning locations and improved accommodation • Our first ever camp on Shetland, with a 10-day archaeology camp based on the wild northern island of Unst

Variety – the camp involves a variety of work

With such a wide range of camps, there is obviously a wide range of challenges for you as Thistle Campers, be that in fitness, remoteness or accommodation standard. As such, within each camp description we are highlighting what those challenges are in order to help YOU make the right decision about which camp is right for you. In each camp description are two grading bars rated 1 to 10: one for the fitness/work rating and the other for remoteness (based on where your accommodation is).

STANDARD: Youth hostel, Trust base camp or outdoor centre. Facilities usually include shared sleeping areas, an eating area and showers. DELUXE: Trust or private holiday cottages with a lounge, good showers, central heating, drying room and dining area, and often providing bed linen. Sleeping often in twin rooms or similar.


SOUTH & WEST SCOTLAND From the coastlines of Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire, to the mountains and lochs of the Trossachs and the far west of Argyll, the south and west of Scotland provide an enormous variety of activities for Thistle Campers to get stuck into. In the south you can try and keep up with the wild goats at Grey Mare’s Tail, or hang out in the warmer climes of Threave, trying to spot ospreys and bats. Over in Ayrshire and Arran we have the magnificent Culzean and Brodick estates to wander round and explore. For the more adventurous, take the roads out west to Glencoe and the beautiful island of Iona. New projects abound in this region, with camps at Burns Cottage and Crarae Garden!

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South & West Scotland BEN LOMOND 1 (LIVING HISTORY) Argyll, Bute & Loch Lomond

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Sat 22 – Sat 29 March

Ben Lomond towers 974m (3,196ft) over the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and offers spectacular views across the loch and the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. During this camp we shall continue work on last year’s construction of a ‘cruck’ barn next to Ardess Lodge on the shores of Loch Lomond. The work will involve continuing to build up the turf walls. Throughout, we will be using natural, locally sourced materials. If time permits we will also have two days working out on the wider estate in order for you to get a feel for the location. A good level of fitness is essential. Stout walking boots and waterproofs (trousers and jacket) are essential. You will be based at the foot of Ben Lomond, in the recently renovated Ben Lomond Bunkhouse. It has a large kitchen, sitting room, good showers and excellent laundry facilities. The bunk house is perfectly situated for exploring the eastern side of Loch Lomond.

You will face the following: •

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

BRODICK 1 Isle of Arran

6

As you sail to the Isle of Arran you will catch a glimpse of Brodick Castle overlooking Brodick Bay, just as it has for centuries. The 874m (2,867ft) summit of Goatfell looms majestically above the woodland trails, tumbling waterfalls and wildflower meadows of Brodick Country Park, where Highland cows graze. Work will be spread between upland footpath work on Goatfell, invasive rhododendron clearance in the country park and lowland footpath work on the estate. We are fighting hard to save Arran’s hills from erosion and your footpath work will help us. Volunteers have valiantly battled against Rhododendron ponticum and this year we continue in our efforts to rid Brodick of this invasive weed. You will also help by repairing woodland paths and carrying out a range of woodland management tasks, including tree planting, non-native tree clearance and bracken clearance.

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Sat 19 – Sat 26 April

Robert Burns, Scotland’s favourite son, was born in this cottage in Alloway on 25 January 1759. He lived here for the first seven years of his life, and this time spent under the thatched eaves shaped him both as a man and a poet. On this camp you will be preparing and hopefully planting an orchard area next to Burns Cottage, as well as working on some of the surrounding woodland paths. You will stay at Home Farm House, part of the old steading block that now houses the rangers’ station and restaurant, at the heart of the Culzean estate. The accommodation is comfortable with a kitchen/dining room, a separate lounge and access to its own garden.

NEW

CRARAE Argyll Sat 26 April – Sat 3 May

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Near the banks of Loch Fyne, Crarae is a magical spot at any time of year – a unique 100-acre Himalayan woodland garden planted around the steep-sided Crarae Burn. The garden was started by Grace, Lady Campbell in 1912 and includes a National Collection of Nothofagus, or southern beech, as well as superb examples of Acer, Sorbus, Eucryphia and Eucalyptus. The work for this camp will be to clear a site in the forest garden at Crarae in preparation for planting native species. There will also be work constructing, and hanging, water gates on the Crarae Burn. NEW ACCOMMODATION The group will stay at Kilmartin Bothy. The Bothy provides comfortable accommodation and the surrounding area is rich in archaeology which can be explored from the doorstep.

You will stay at the Shore Lodge Base Camp, which is fully equipped, warm and comfortable. There are showers, a lounge, dining room, telephone and drying room. Please note that bed linen and duvets are provided. You will face the following: Some working at height Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly

Fitness Level Remoteness

7

Fitness Level

3

Fitness Level

Remoteness

3

Remoteness

5

Remoteness

5

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 8

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1130

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1600

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1100

Cost (Conc): £160 (£125)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost (Conc): £110 (£80)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £120 (£95)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost (Conc): £120 (£95)

Nearest train station: Balloch

3

Nearest train station: Ardrossan Accommodation STANDARD

4

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Sat 12 – Sat 19 April

• • Fitness Level

NEW

BURNS COTTAGE Ayrshire

Accommodation STANDARD

Nearest train station: Ayr or Maybole Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD

6

Nearest train station: Oban Accommodation STANDARD


DATES FOR IONA 2 AND IONA 3 WILL BE RELEASED ON THE WEBSITE IN SPRING 2014

South & West Scotland GREY MARE’S TAIL Dumfries & Galloway

IONA 1 Inner Hebrides

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Sat 3 – Sat 10 May

BRODICK 2 Isle of Arran

BEN LOMOND 2 Argyll, Bute & Loch Lomond

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Sat 10 – Sat 17 May

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Sat 17 – Sat 24 May

Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve includes some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in the Southern Uplands. It is particularly famous for its waterfall, which falls 61m (200ft) from Loch Skeen, a glacial loch high up in the hills. Other features include world-famous geological deposits, feral goats and the spectacular peregrine falcon, which has successfully nested here for the past 22 years.

With its spectacular landscape of white sandy beaches, dramatic changing light and stunning views, Iona has long been a spiritual site. It was here that St Columba settled, having travelled from Ireland to spread Christianity to Scotland in AD 563, and it is believed the Book of Kells was created here. Iona’s beauty and serenity now draw Christian pilgrims and secular visitors alike.

The camp will be working on the upland footpaths of Grey Mare’s Tail with a mix of upland footpath repair and creation, particularly around the south end of Loch Skeen. There may also be high-level fence repair, depending on winter damage. If the weather is not kind, we will be working at the lower levels of the trails near the car park entrances.

The current 140 islanders work in crofting, fishing, tourism and at the Abbey. While Iona was gifted to the Trust in 1979, the Abbey and other sacred buildings are managed by Historic Scotland. During the week you will be helping with the upkeep of the island. Tasks may include footpath work, painting benches and painting the machinery in the Marble Quarry.

NEW ACCOMMODATION During the week the group will stay at Ettrick View, which is a beautiful stone house recently converted to a high standard from a 19th-century farm steading. This house is light, spacious and is tastefully and comfortably furnished.

You will stay at Grianan, a large, wellappointed holiday house next to the Abbey with wonderful views across to Mull. Please note you will need to bring a sleeping bag.

You will be based at the foot of Ben Lomond, in the Ardess Lodge Base Camp which has been recently converted. It has a large kitchen, sitting room, good showers and excellent laundry facilities. Ben Lomond Bunkhouse is perfectly situated for exploring the eastern side of Loch Lomond.

You will face the following:

You will face the following:

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Long, strenuous uphill walks

Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly

You will face the following: •

Long, strenuous uphill walks to the work site

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Fitness Level

8

Remoteness

6

Remote location

Fitness Level

During this camp, weather depending, we are planning on spending the majority of the time on high-altitude footpath repair work. A good level of fitness is essential. This high-level work will be balanced with lower-altitude estate management work such as fence repairs and possibly work on the ‘cruck’ barn that we are constructing next to Ardess Lodge. Good walking boots and waterproofs (trousers and jacket) are essential.

Fitness Level

5

Remoteness

Ben Lomond towers 974m (3,196ft) over the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and offers spectacular views across the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

8

Remoteness

7 5

(FOOTPATHS)

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Sat 31 May – Sat 7 June

As you sail to the Isle of Arran you will catch a glimpse of Brodick Castle overlooking Brodick Bay, just as it has for centuries. The 874m (2,867ft) summit of Goatfell looms majestically above the woodland trails, tumbling waterfalls and wildflower meadows of Brodick Country Park, where Highland cows graze. This is a pure footpath camp and work will be focused on upland footpath repair and maintenance on Goatfell. Come and learn new skills, and help us to save Arran’s hills from future erosion. You will stay at the Trust’s Shore Lodge Base Camp in the grounds of Brodick Castle. There are showers, a lounge, dining room, telephone and drying room. Please note that bed linen and duvets are provided. You will face the following: • •

Long, strenuous uphill walks some days to reach work site Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly

Fitness Level Remoteness

7 3

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1600

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 0900

Places: 9

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1600

Places: 8

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1130

Places: 10

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1600

Cost (Conc): £200 (£145)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost (Conc): £110 (£80)

Nearest train station: Lockerbie Accommodation DELUXE

Nearest train station: Oban

Nearest train station: Balloch Accommodation STANDARD/DELUXE

Nearest train station: Ardrossan Accommodation STANDARD

Accommodation STANDARD

5


South & West Scotland

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Sat 7 – Sat 14 June

During the week you will be involved in a wide range of tasks, possibly including drystane dyking, ditch clearing, drainage repair, track and footpath repair and vegetation management to promote the habitat for the slender Scotch burnet moth. We shall also do some population monitoring (weather permitting) of this beautiful insect. You will stay at Tavool House, which is a large, well-appointed house on the neighbouring estate with an open fire and drying room. You will face the following: Remote location

Fitness Level

9

With your help we will target all the relevant buildings on the estate through the week. Full training will be given by our rangers so you do not need any specialist skills. Bat watches generally last from 9.30pm to 11pm or midnight. You will have time off to rest during the day, before starting practical bat habitat management work in the late afternoon. After a picnic supper, you will walk around the estate after the public has gone, before watching for bats at dusk. Please be aware that you may get cold while standing still at dusk.

CULZEAN CASTLE 1 Ayrshire

(BAT CAMP)

Sat 21 – Sat 28 June

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Culzean is a romantic 18th-century castle rising majestically from its clifftop location, with superb panoramic views over the Firth of Clyde. It has beautiful formal gardens, around 243 hectares of woodland and boasts 3 miles of varied coastline. There is an abundance of wildlife on the estate including deer, red squirrels, woodpeckers, badgers and hares. With your help we will target all the relevant buildings on the estate through the week. Full training will be given by our rangers so you do not need any specialist skills. Bat watches generally last from 9.30pm to 11pm or midnight. You will have time off to rest during the day, before starting practical bat habitat management work in the late afternoon. After a picnic supper, you will walk around the estate after the public has gone, before watching for bats at dusk. Please be aware that you may get cold while standing still at dusk.

You will stay at Barncrosh in the imposing Victorian farmhouse, which has an Aga in the kitchen and stands in an acre of gardens with a tennis court

You will stay at Home Farm House, part of the old steading block that now houses the rangers’ station and restaurant, at the heart of the Culzean estate. The accommodation is comfortable with a kitchen/dining room, a separate lounge and access to its own garden.

You will face the following:

You will face the following:

Unsocial hours including late nights but with long lie-ins / free mornings

Unsocial hours including late nights but with long lie-ins / free mornings

Cool evenings while standing still

Cool evenings while standing still

Remoteness

5

4

CULZEAN CASTLE 2 Ayrshire Sat 28 June – Sat 5 July

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Culzean is a romantic 18th-century castle rising majestically from its clifftop location, with superb panoramic views over the Firth of Clyde. It has beautiful formal gardens, around 243 hectares of woodland and boasts 3 miles of varied coastline. There is an abundance of wildlife on the estate including deer, red squirrels, woodpeckers, badgers and hares. The work will be mainly centred around invasive species control on the south side of the estate, cutting back the encroaching vegetation. There is also likely to be the opportunity to undertake a variety of projects, including boardwalk construction, step improvement and path re-surfacing throughout this beautiful estate. You will stay at Home Farm House, part of the old steading block, which lies at the heart of the Culzean estate. The accommodation is comfortable with a kitchen/dining room, a separate lounge and access to its own garden.

Fitness Level

3

Fitness Level

Remoteness

3

Remoteness

5 3

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1000

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 10

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1600

Cost (Conc): £170 (£130)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £160 (£125)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £160 (£125)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Nearest train station: Dumfries

Nearest train station: Oban Accommodation STANDARD

6

Famous for its wildlife, Threave Estate covers 647 hectares, much of which was owned in the 14th century by the Black Douglas family. The estate is a good example of integrated land management, and boasts a fantastic mix of environments including woodland and wetland – all of which help to support a wide variety of natural species. A bat hotspot, the estate is Scotland’s first bat reserve and is also home to breeding ospreys.

Fitness Level

7

Remoteness

V

Sat 14 – Sat 21 June

Known as ‘The Wilderness’, Burg is a Site of Special Scientific Interest to protect areas of species-rich heath and grassland. It is home to the highly endangered slender Scotch burnet moth and an extremely rare plant called Iceland purslane. Although Burg is very isolated (7 miles from the nearest public road), many people make the long walk in to see the beautiful wild scenery and MacCulloch’s fossil tree – a remnant of the forest that once covered Scotland and which was engulfed by lava around 50 million years ago.

NEW

THREAVE BAT CAMP Dumfries & Galloway

BURG Isle of Mull

Accommodation DELUXE

Nearest train station: Ayr or Maybole Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD

Nearest train station: Ayr or Maybole Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD


South & West Scotland THREAVE ARCHAEOLOGY Dumfries & Galloway

NEW

GLENCOE DYKING Argyll

BEN LOMOND 3 (LIVING HISTORY) Argyll, Bute & Loch Lomond

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Fri 4th – Fri 11th July

Sat 12 – Sat 19 July

Famous for its wildlife, Threave Estate covers 647 hectares, much of which was owned in the 14th century by the Black Douglas family. The estate is a good example of integrated land management, and boasts a fantastic mix of environments including woodland and wetland.

With towering mountains sweeping down both sides of the glen, Glencoe is both spectacularly beautiful and of immense ecological importance. It contains the Glencoe and Eas na Broige Sites of Special Scientific Interest and is covered by the Glencoe Special Area of Conservation. Glencoe is internationally important for its plant life, particularly arctic alpine flora such as saxifrage, butterwort and tormentil. Glencoe’s mountains also shelter red and roe deer, grouse, red squirrels and otters, while golden eagles circle overhead.

A number of trial trenches will be excavated across the line of the cropmark enclosure ditch on Little Wood Hill. The date of this archaeological site is unknown but it has been suggested as possibly belonging to the Iron Age. Further test pits may be excavated at other sites on Threave Estate or in the fields below the Mote of Mark trading post at Rockcliffe. You will be staying at Barncrosh in the imposing Victorian farmhouse, which has an Aga in the kitchen and stands in an acre of gardens with a tennis court. You will be staying at Barncrosh in the imposing Victorian farmhouse, which has an Aga in the kitchen and stands in an acre of gardens with a tennis court. You will face the following: •

During this camp you will get to grips with drystane dyking techniques under the guidance of an experienced dyker. The work will mainly be focused on walls by the trails around the visitor centre, with some additional repairs through the glen.

Remoteness

5

The aim of this camp will be to harvest and construct a bracken thatch roof for the replica ‘cruck’ barn that we are building next to Ardess Lodge. The harvesting itself can be arduous but you will get the chance to learn the art of bracken thatching from a professional thatcher. NB: Please be aware that if the barn is not in a state to be thatched due to inclement weather on earlier camps, it will be necessary for this camp to complete the turf roofing work required first (see Ben Lomond 1).

Your accommodation will be at the Corran Bunkhouse, which is well appointed and comfortable. You will face the following:

You will face the following:

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and steel toe-cap boots are essential

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Occasional long, strenuous uphill walks to reach work site

Long, strenuous uphill walks

Strenuous and repetitive lifting

Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly

Fitness Level Remoteness

4

Ben Lomond towers 974m (3,196ft) over the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and offers spectacular views across the loch and the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

You will be based at the foot of Ben Lomond, in the recently renovated Ben Lomond Bunkhouse. It has a large kitchen, sitting room, good showers and excellent laundry facilities. The bunk house is perfectly situated for exploring the eastern side of Loch Lomond.

The possibility of cold weather

Fitness Level

V

Sat 23 – Sat 30 August

6 5

Fitness Level

6

Remoteness

5

CULZEAN CASTLE 3 Ayrshire Sat 6 – Sat 13 September

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Culzean is a romantic 18th-century castle rising majestically from its clifftop location, with superb panoramic views over the Firth of Clyde. It has beautiful formal gardens, around 243 hectares of woodland and boasts 3 miles of varied coastline. There is an abundance of wildlife on the estate including deer, red squirrels, woodpeckers, badgers and hares. The work will be mainly centred around invasive species control on the south side of the estate, cutting back the encroaching vegetation. There is also likely to be the opportunity to undertake a variety of projects, including boardwalk construction, step improvement and path re-surfacing throughout this beautiful estate. You will stay at Home Farm House, part of the old steading block that now houses the rangers’ station and restaurant, at the heart of the Culzean estate. The accommodation is comfortable with a kitchen/dining room, a separate lounge and access to its own garden.

Fitness Level Remoteness

5 3

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 8

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost (Conc): £200 (£160)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £170 (£130)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £160 (£125)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Nearest train station: Dumfries Accommodation DELUXE

Nearest train station: Fort William Accommodation STANDARD/DELUXE

Nearest train station: Ayr or Maybole

Nearest train station: Balloch Accommodation STANDARD

Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD

7


South & West Scotland GLENCOE KAYAKING Argyll

NEW

V

V

Sat 13 – Sat 20 September

Sat 4 – Sat 11 October

With towering mountains sweeping down both sides of the glen, Glencoe is both spectacularly beautiful and of immense ecological importance. It contains the Glencoe and Eas na Broige Sites of Special Scientific Interest and is covered by the Glencoe Special Area of Conservation.

You will be working at the Trust’s Threave Estate and on Trust land at Rockcliffe and Venniehill. On Threave Estate, bird hides overlook the River Dee and Blackpark Marsh – a Special Protection Area for breeding waders and wintering wildfowl, which is also home to ospreys and otters. Rockcliffe is one of Scotland’s most beautiful areas of coastline, with broadleaved woodland, wildflower meadows and heathertopped rocky outcrops providing a diversity of wildlife habitats.

This camp gives you the chance to experience the magnificent landscape around Glencoe, Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe from a different perspective, as well as helping out with vital conservation work. The week will include three days carrying out conservation work around the glen. The remaining days will be spent sea kayaking. Don’t worry if you have never kayaked before, as the camp includes full tuition and all the necessary equipment for you to explore and enjoy the local area in a kayak. NEW ACCOMMODATION Wildwood Farmhouse will be your accommodation for the week. This recently built large villa-style house near Glencoe is all on one level and in its own large private grounds that extend to nearly two acres. There is a games room with pool and table tennis tables. You will face the following: •

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout hiking boots are essential

Occasional long, strenuous uphill walks to reach work site

At Threave you will help with woodland management to improve biodiversity as well as improving access for visitors. At Rockcliffe and Venniehill you will be helping with the meadow cuts and removing invasive species such as gorse, bracken and sycamore, improving habitats for many native species of plants, insects, birds and mammals. You will stay at Barncrosh in the imposing Victorian farmhouse, which has an Aga in the kitchen and stands in an acre of gardens with a tennis court. You will face the following: •

CULZEAN CASTLE 4 Ayrshire

IONA 4 Inner Hebrides

Sat 18 – Sat 25 October

V

Culzean is a romantic 18th-century castle rising majestically from its clifftop location, with superb panoramic views over the Firth of Clyde. It has beautiful formal gardens, around 243 hectares (600 acres) of woodland and boasts 3 miles of varied coastline. There is an abundance of wildlife on the estate including deer, red squirrels, woodpeckers, badgers and hares. The work will be mainly centred around invasive species control on the south side of the estate, cutting back the encroaching vegetation. There is also likely to be the opportunity to undertake a variety of projects, including boardwalk construction, step improvement and path resurfacing throughout this beautiful estate. You will stay at Home Farm House, part of the old steading block that now houses the rangers’ station and restaurant, at the heart of the Culzean estate. The accommodation is comfortable with a kitchen/dining room, a separate lounge and access to its own garden. You will face the following: •

The possibility of cold weather

The possibility of cold weather

Fitness Level

5

Fitness Level

4

Fitness Level

Remoteness

5

Remoteness

4

Remoteness

5

(DYKING)

With its spectacular landscape of white sandy beaches, dramatic changing light and stunning views, Iona has long been a spiritual site. It was here that St Columba settled, having arrived from Ireland to spread Christianity to Scotland in AD 563, and it is believed the Book of Kells was created here. Iona’s beauty and serenity now draw Christian pilgrims and secular visitors alike. During this camp you will get to grips with drystane dyking techniques under the guidance of an experienced dyker. The work will be centred on rebuilding the drystane wall, which has fallen into disrepair, at the rear of the community housing plot. You will stay at Grianan, a large, wellappointed holiday house next to the Abbey with views across to Mull. Please note you will need to bring a sleeping bag. You will face the following: •

You will face the following:

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and steel toe-cap boots are essential

Strenuous and repetitive lifting

Fitness Level

6

Remoteness

3

D

Sun 19 – Sun 26 October

8

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 0900

Places: 9

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £299 (£250)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1600

Cost (Conc): £250 (£170)

Nearest train station: Fort William Accommodation DELUXE

8

DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY PROPERTIES Dumfries & Galloway

Nearest train station: Dumfries Accommodation DELUXE

Nearest train station: Ayr or Maybole Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD

Nearest train station: Oban Accommodation STANDARD/DELUXE


NORTH-EAST & CENTRAL SCOTLAND Often overlooked, there’s a huge amount to see in this region, from the mighty mountains in the Grampian and Cairngorms ranges to Perthshire’s glorious woodlands and Fife’s intimate gardens. Thistle Campers who make their way here may find themselves in the remote back country of Mar Lodge’s vast estate or helping out in the shadow of one of Aberdeenshire’s many fine houses and castles. Regardless of what you end up doing, a trip to this region of Scotland will make you appreciate everything that’s great about the outdoors.

9


North-East & Central Scotland HILL OF TARVIT 1 Fife

(SPRING)

Sat 1 – Sat 8 March

VD

Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse nestles on a hillside in the Fife countryside. The house and garden were remodelled by Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer to provide a worthy setting for the wealthy Sharp family’s notable collection of French and Chippendale-style furniture, Flemish tapestries and Chinese porcelain. The gardens comprise formal lawns, flowering borders, a sunken rose garden and a walled garden with beautiful mixed borders. The 198 hectares of grounds are also home to a recently reinstated 9-hole hickory golf course and a network of paths linking the garden to a hilltop viewpoint and the wider estate. Make a difference and help our garden staff with their work. As well as improving the path network around the estate, volunteers will help lift and replant snowdrops through the woodland, and will plant trees and wildflower plugs. Other estate work will be identified nearer the time. You will stay in one of Hill of Tarvit’s holiday cottages, which are situated in their own gardens to the east of the mansion house. The cottages are very comfortable and both have an open fire.

FALKLAND PALACE 1 Fife

(SPRING)

D

Fri 7 – Fri 14 March

Once the country residence of the Stuart monarchs, Falkland Palace is set in the heart of a conservation village. The extensive property houses the oldest tennis court in Britain, built for James V, and gardens designed by Percy Cane. During the week you will be helping Head Gardener Sonia Ferras-Mana with a variety of tasks in the famous grounds. This year will be an exciting time for Falkland Palace Garden as Sonia will begin a major Wildlife Project, aimed at creating, improving and interpreting wildlife habitats in the gardens. There will be a lot of planting but other tasks may include building a ‘Log Spiral’ and willow weaving. NEW ACCOMMODATION You will stay at Lomond View, a detached holiday house near the village of Ladybank. The accommodation is spacious and well appointed, with French doors leading into the garden. Walks can be enjoyed at the nearby Birnie Loch Nature Reserve. Please note all bedding is provided. You will face the following: •

PITMEDDEN 1 Aberdeenshire

(ESTATE)

V

Sat 8 – Sat 15 March

The heart of Pitmedden is the formal walled Great Garden, which was originally laid out in 1675 by Sir Alexander Seton. The gardens feature over 5 miles of box hedging in elaborate parterres, planted with 40,000 plants that burst into colour during the summer. Pitmedden boasts extensive herbaceous borders, a herb garden and fragrant honeysuckle, jasmine and roses throughout. There are also over 80 varieties of trained pear and apple trees near the garden’s high granite walls. During this camp you will be helping the staff with path repairs and vegetation control in the wider estate. There may also be some work in the famous garden itself. You will stay at the Mains of Tolquhon. We will have sole use of two of the sympathetically converted steading buildings, next to Tolquhon Gallery and Tolquhon Castle, known as one of the most picturesque castles in Grampian. You will face the following: •

The possibility of cold weather

DRUM CASTLE Aberdeenshire

VD

Fri 14 – Fri 21 March

Drum is one of the most beautiful castles of Royal Deeside, and for nearly seven centuries it was home to the Irvine family. The defensive medieval tower is one of the oldest in Scotland, dating to before 1290, and there are subsequent additions from the Jacobean and Victorian periods. The grounds contain the Garden of Historic Roses and the Old Wood of Drum, a remnant of the once vast royal hunting forest, which is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest. You will be spending two or three days on the construction of willow fences and plant supports in the 17th- and 18th-century quarters of the Garden of Historic Roses. One day will be spent on castle conservation ready for opening, and possibly one day on maintaining the willow nursery and a willow artwork class. You will stay at the Castlewood Cabins, near Banchory. The cabins are very comfortable with an open-plan living area, and doors leading out to a private deck with mountain views. You will face the following: •

The possibility of cold weather

(WILLOW WEAVING)

The possibility of cold weather

You will face the following: •

The possibility of cold weather

Fitness Level

2

Fitness Level

Remoteness

2

Remoteness

Remoteness

2

5 4

Fitness Level

3

Remoteness

3

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1600

Places: 7

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1800

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1300

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £99 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost (Conc): £120 (£95)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £140 (£115)

Nearest train station: Cupar

Nearest train station: Ladybank Accommodation DELUXE

10

Fitness Level

3

Accommodation DELUXE

Nearest train station: Aberdeen or Inverurie Accommodation DELUXE

Nearest train station: Aberdeen Accommodation STANDARD/DELUXE


North-East & Central Scotland NORTH PERTHSHIRE WOODLANDS 1 Perthshire (SPRING)

HADDO HOUSE 1 Aberdeenshire

V

Sat 10 – Sat 17 May

Sat 22 – Sat 29 March

The five Trust countryside properties in Perthshire, or ‘Big Tree Country’, showcase the area’s wonderful variety of riverside woodlands, breathtaking waterfalls and some of the tallest trees in Britain. All five lie within either the Loch Tummel or the River Tay National Scenic Areas. The rivers Garry and Tummel rush through rocky gorges overhung with trees at Killiecrankie and the Linn of Tummel. The River Braan meanders through the mixed woodland at The Hermitage, tumbling over the Black Linn Falls and past Ossian’s Hall, before joining the River Tay at Dunkeld. During your week in Perthshire your conservation work will include tasks such as the removal of non-native invasive woodland species, like beech and sycamore, so that native trees can regenerate; charcoal making; scrub clearance; footpath maintenance; and some maintenance work in and around the woodland car parks. You will be staying at the very comfortable Stanley Nairne Centre at Dalguise. The centre was converted from a row of farm cottages and includes a lounge, dining area, telephone, showers and drying room. Please note that duvets and bed linen are provided.

‘You meet some fantastic people on the Thistle Camps and forge new friendships.’

V

Originally designed by William Adam in 1732, and refurbished in 1880, Haddo House combines crisp Georgian architecture with sumptuous late-Victorian interiors. The superb collection of paintings includes works by Pompeo Batoni, William Mosman, Sir Thomas Lawrence and James Giles. Outside, there’s a delightful terrace garden with geometric flower beds and fountain, a lavish herbaceous border and secluded glades and knolls. A magnificent avenue of lime trees leads to the adjacent Haddo Country Park with its lakes, monuments, walks and wildlife. During your week at Haddo you will be undertaking garden work: the main jobs are rhododendron clearing, cutting and clearing borders and replanting the borders. You will stay at the Mains of Tolquhon. We will have sole use of two of the sympathetically converted steading buildings, next to Tolquhon Gallery and Tolquhon Castle, which is known as one of the most picturesque castles in Grampian.

You will face the following: •

The possibility of cold weather

Fitness Level Remoteness

5 4

Fitness Level

4

Remoteness

4

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost (Conc): £120 (£95)

Nearest train station: Dunkeld & Birnam Accommodation STANDARD

Nearest train station: Aberdeen or Inverurie Accommodation DELUXE

11


North-East & Central Scotland MAR LODGE ESTATE 1 Cairngorms

V

Sat 7 – Sat 14 June

Located in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Mar Lodge Estate boasts some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in Scotland. Its 29,380 hectares take in a large remnant of Caledonian pine forest and 15 Munros – including four of the five highest mountains in Britain. The estate is also one of the most important nature conservation landscapes in Britain, lying partly within the Cairngorms National Nature Reserve and including several Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Visitors may see red squirrels, pine martens, red deer and golden eagles. You will be doing a variety of work, which will depend on conservation priorities in June. Likely tasks will include plantation restructuring; brash clearance; fence marking and removal; footpath maintenance; and ring barking to provide standing dead timber for wildlife. You will stay at the Stable Block Base Camp, adjacent to Mar Lodge itself. The base camp is comfortable with a fully equipped kitchen, sitting room, dining room, drying room and oil-fired central heating. You will face the following: •

CRAIGIEVAR CASTLE Aberdeenshire

CASTLE FRASER Aberdeenshire

Potential long walks to work sites

V

Sat 5 - Sat 12 July

The most elaborate Z-plan castle in Scotland and one of the grandest Castles of Mar, Castle Fraser was chiefly built in the late 16th and early 17th century, and was gifted to the Trust in 1976 by Major and Mrs Michael Smiley. The castle belongs to the same period of native architectural achievement as two neighbouring castles, Crathes and Craigievar, both owned by the Trust. One of its most evocative rooms is the strikingly simple Great Hall. During this camp you will be working in the woodland garden and children’s play area, helping to build and maintain the trails through the woodland. You will stay at the Sir Arthur Grant Residential Centre at Monymusk. The centre is large, comfortable and well equipped with a kitchen/dining area, lounge, showers, telephone, drying room and laundry facilities. Please note that duvets and bed linen are provided. You will face the following: •

Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly

Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (pick-up available in Aberdeen on request)

5

Fitness Level

Remoteness

5

Remoteness

This fairytale castle seems to have grown naturally out of the surrounding rolling hills. The great tower stands just as it did when completed in 1626. Craigievar’s iconic tower house is among the best preserved and most loved in Scotland. The estate comprises parkland with magnificent specimen trees, woodland and farmland, and there are extensive views over the surrounding countryside to Bennachie. During the week you will be focusing on building and structure conservation including training in drystane dyking. You will rebuild from scratch a retaining wall around the holiday cottages which will take two to three days. Refurbishment of the kennels, repointing and replacement of traditional porch timbers on an outhouse are all other possibilities. Alternative garden work may be available too. Fruit picking (and eating) features highly on this camp! You will stay in holiday cottages in the grounds of Cairnton Farm. The farm breeds prize-winning Aberdeen Angus cattle and offers glorious views of Deeside. The cottages are warm and very comfortable with underfloor heating and woodburning stoves. You will face the following:

4

Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (drop-off available in Aberdeen on request)

Fitness Level

4

Remoteness

5

ABERDEENSHIRE PROPERTIES Aberdeenshire Sat 6 – Sat 13 September

V

You will work alongside our Aberdeenshire rangers, who cover very different countryside properties. Crathes has woodland and freshwater habitats, home to roe deer, red squirrels, woodpeckers, buzzards, kingfishers and herons. The Old Wood of Drum is a remnant of the ancient Royal Forest and Park of Drum and is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Leith Hall is home to the rare blunt-leaved bristle-moss, while Haddo House has a magnificent avenue of lime trees leading to a country park with lakes and an abundance of wildlife. Castle Fraser has an 18thcentury walled garden with organic fruits and vegetables, and Craigievar is a fairytale castle with walking trails leading through the surrounding woodlands to beautiful views. Work will be as varied as the sites themselves. These well-loved properties attract many visitors, which can lead to footpaths being worn away and habitats damaged. You will be carrying out restorative work to both habitats and footpaths at several of the properties. You will stay at the Sir Arthur Grant Residential Centre at Monymusk. The centre is large, comfortable and well equipped with a kitchen/dining area, lounge, showers, telephone, drying room and laundry facilities. Please note that duvets and bed linen are provided.

Fitness Level

4

Remoteness

4

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1600

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 10

Pick-up: ABERDEEN 1600

Places: 9

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 10

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Drop-off: ABERDEEN 1200

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £140 (£115)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Nearest train station: Perth or Aberdeen Accommodation STANDARD

12

6

V

Sat 12 – Sat 19 July

Fitness Level

(DYKING)

Nearest train station: Aberdeen or Inverurie Accommodation STANDARD

Nearest train station: Aberdeen Accommodation DELUXE

Nearest train station: Aberdeen or Inverurie Accommodation STANDARD


North-East & Central Scotland PITMEDDEN 2 Aberdeenshire

MAR LODGE ESTATE 2 Cairngorms Fri 12 – Fri 19 September

V

Located in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Mar Lodge Estate boasts some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in Scotland. Its 29,380 hectares take in a large remnant of Caledonian pine forest and 15 Munros – including four of the five highest mountains in Britain. The estate is also one of the most important nature conservation landscapes in Britain, lying partly within the Cairngorms National Nature Reserve and including several Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Visitors may see red squirrels, pine martens, red deer and golden eagles. You will be doing a variety of work, which will depend on conservation priorities, but we anticipate a particular focus on the Mar Lodge woodland regeneration. This may include plantation restructuring, scarifying, building brash hedges, fence marking, footpath maintenance and ring barking. You will stay at the Stable Block Base Camp, adjacent to Mar Lodge itself. The base camp is comfortable with a fully equipped kitchen, sitting room, dining room, drying room and oilfired central heating.

(APPLE HARVEST)

Mon 22 – Mon 29 September

V

The heart of Pitmedden is the formal walled Great Garden, which was originally laid out in 1675 by Sir Alexander Seton. The gardens feature over 5 miles of box hedging in elaborate parterres, planted with 40,000 plants that burst into colour during the summer. Pitmedden boasts extensive herbaceous borders, a herb garden and fragrant honeysuckle, with jasmine and roses throughout. There are also over 80 varieties of trained pear and apple trees near the garden’s high granite walls. This camp is timed to coincide with Pitmedden’s annual Apple Day on Sunday 28 September, which you will help to set up. During the week you and your fellow volunteers will harvest two tonnes of fruit for this end-of-season sale. You may spend some time dead-heading, weeding, potting and propagating. There will also be plenty of estate work outside the garden. You will stay at the Mains of Tolquhon. We will have sole use of two of the sympathetically converted steading buildings, next to Tolquhon Gallery and Tolquhon Castle, known as one of the most picturesque castles in Grampian.

NORTH PERTHSHIRE WOODLANDS 2 Perthshire (AUTUMN)

HADDO HOUSE 2 Aberdeenshire Sat 11 – Sat 18 October

V

Originally designed by William Adam in 1732, and refurbished in 1880, Haddo House combines crisp Georgian architecture with sumptuous late-Victorian interiors. The superb collection of paintings includes works by Pompeo Batoni, William Mosman, Sir Thomas Lawrence and James Giles. Outside, there’s a delightful terrace garden with geometric flower beds and fountain, a lavish herbaceous border and secluded glades and knolls. A magnificent avenue of lime trees leads to the adjacent Haddo Country Park with its lakes, monuments, walks and wildlife. During your week at Haddo you will be undertaking garden work: the main jobs are cutting back the herbaceous borders, lifting annuals and clearing up after the season. You will stay at the Mains of Tolquhon. We will have sole use of two of the sympathetically converted steading buildings, next to Tolquhon Gallery and Tolquhon Castle, which is known as one of the most picturesque castles in Grampian. You will face the following: •

The possibility of cold weather

You will face the following: •

Sat 11 – Sat 18 October

VD

The five Trust countryside properties in Perthshire, or ‘Big Tree Country’, showcase the area’s wonderful variety of riverside woodlands, breathtaking waterfalls and some of the tallest trees in Britain. All five lie within either the Loch Tummel or the River Tay National Scenic Areas. The rivers Garry and Tummel rush through rocky gorges overhung with trees at Killiecrankie and the Linn of Tummel. The River Braan meanders through the mixed woodland at The Hermitage, tumbling over the Black Linn Falls and past Ossian’s Hall, before joining the River Tay at Dunkeld. During your week in Perthshire your conservation work will include tasks such as the removal of non-native invasive woodland species, like beech and sycamore, so that native trees can regenerate; charcoal making; scrub clearance; footpath maintenance; and some maintenance work in and around the woodland car parks. You will be staying at Convalloch, which is a converted Scottish farmhouse and steading with spectacular views of Lower Strath Tay. Surrounded by woodland, organic farmland and rolling moorland, Convalloch’s secluded yet accessible location makes it an ideal base for the North Perthshire properties. You will face the following:

Potential long walks to work sites

The possibility of cold weather

Fitness Level

4

Fitness Level

Remoteness

4

Remoteness

Fitness Level

5

Fitness Level

Remoteness

5

Remoteness

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1300

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1700

Places: 10

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost (Conc): £120 (£95)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost (Conc): £120 (£95)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £120 (£95)

3 4

Nearest train station: Aberdeen or Inverurie

Nearest train station: Perth Accommodation STANDARD

Accommodation DELUXE

Nearest train station: Aberdeen or Inverurie Accommodation DELUXE

5 4

Nearest train station: Dunkeld & Birnam or Pitlochry Accommodation DELUXE

13


Good fun, good company, great organisation!

North-East & Central Scotland NEW

THE PINEAPPLE Central Scotland Sat 18 – Sat 25 October

V

This bizarre structure, in the shape of a pineapple, was built in 1761 as a folly to enjoy the fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. Extensive glasshouses and pineapple pits once grew a variety of exotic fruits and vegetables within the walled garden. The policies are now a haven for wildlife, and if you are lucky you might spot the rare great crested newt in the dipping pool. The work on this camp will be helping to reestablish an orchard at The Pineapple. The area in question is currently a plantation, but it is to be cleared during winter 2013. The work may involve clearing brash, fencing, laying footpaths and planting. NEW ACCOMMODATION You will stay at Orchard Lodge, a contemporary property which sits in the grounds of a stunning Edwardian mansion in Alloa. The house is furnished to a high standard and the gardens offer views of the Ochil Hills. You will face the following: •

HILL OF TARVIT 2 Fife

(AUTUMN)

Sat 25 October – Sat 1 November

VD

Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse nestles on a hillside in the Fife countryside. The house and garden were remodelled by Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer to provide a worthy setting for the wealthy Sharp family’s notable collection of French and Chippendale-style furniture, Flemish tapestries and Chinese porcelain. The gardens comprise formal lawns, flowering borders, a sunken rose garden and a walled garden with beautiful mixed borders. The 198 hectares of grounds are also home to a recently reinstated 9-hole hickory golf course and a network of paths linking the garden to a hilltop viewpoint and the wider estate. Make a difference and help our garden staff with their work. As well as improving the path network around the estate, volunteers will help with planting trees and wildflower plugs. Other estate work will be identified nearer the time. You will stay in one of Hill of Tarvit’s holiday cottages, which are situated in their own gardens to the east of the mansion house. The cottages are very comfortable and both have an open fire.

FALKLAND PALACE 2 Fife

(AUTUMN)

Sat 1 – Sat 8 November

VD

Once the country residence of the Stuart monarchs, Falkland Palace is set in the heart of a conservation village. The property houses the oldest tennis court in Britain, built for James V, and gardens designed by Percy Cane. During this week the main task will be hedge laying. You will be taught this country craft, which has been practised for centuries, by an experienced hedge layer. Other tasks will be dependent on the priorities of the garden at the time. NEW ACCOMMODATION You will stay in one of Hill of Tarvit’s holiday cottages, which are situated in their own gardens to the east of the mansion house. The cottages are very comfortable and both have an open fire. You will face the following: •

The possibility of cold weather

The possibility of cold weather You will face the following: •

Fitness Level Remoteness

3 2

Fitness Level

2

Fitness Level

Remoteness

2

Remoteness

4 2

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1600

Places: 10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1600

Places: 7

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1600

Places: 7/10

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £120 (£95)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £99 (£75)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Nearest train station: Alloa

Nearest train station: Cupar Accommodation DELUXE

14

The possibility of cold weather

Nearest train station: Cupar Accommodation DELUXE

Accommodation DELUXE


HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS From the peaks of Scotland’s most dramatic mountains to the remote outposts of some of its most distant islands, these are some of the country’s most awe-inspiring places. Thistle Campers could find themselves in the exotic garden of Inverewe or the history-steeped Culloden Battlefield. The mountain seekers are spoiled for choice, with the peaks of West Affric, Kintail and Torridon. If it’s remoteness and wilderness you crave it would be hard to beat working alongside the island communities on Canna, Fair Isle and, for the first time this year, Unst.

15


Highlands & Islands BALMACARA Ross-shire

TORRIDON 1 Wester Ross

V

Sat 29 March – Sat 5 April

This splendid Highland estate has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Scotland. Liathach (a towering 1,055m / 3,461ft) and Beinn Alligin (986m / 3,235ft) are composed mainly of Torridonian sandstone dating back 750 million years. The estate takes in parts of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve and is home to red deer, Highland cattle, oystercatchers, golden eagles and a few pine martens and otters. During the week you will mainly be repairing and maintaining the Coire Mhic Nobuil and Coire Dubh footpaths. Footpath work is vital to protect this beautiful landscape from erosion. Other tasks on the estate may include drystane dyking or fencing. You will stay at the Mol Mor Bunkhouse, which is very comfortable, with a common room and wood-burning stove. You will need to take a sleeping bag and pillowcase. You will face the following: •

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Long, strenuous uphill walks some days to reach work site

Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly

Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (pick-up from Edinburgh with Inverness pick-up en route, but only returning to Inverness)

Fitness Level Remoteness

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1200 Inverness 1600

Drop-off: INVERNESS ONLY 1200

7

Places: 8 Cost (Conc): £99 (£75)

Nearest train station: Achnasheen Accommodation STANDARD

16

V

Sat 5 – Sat 12 April

Balmacara is a 2,550-hectare crofting estate on the Lochalsh peninsula. It includes the lovely oak woodland of Coille Mhor, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The estate also takes in the crofting townships of Drumbuie and Duirinish and parts of picturesque Plockton village. Work on this camp will mainly involve vegetation management at a scheduled ancient monument. There will also be other estate tasks, which will most likely include brash clearance and path maintenance. You will share the Trust’s Morvich Base Camp near Inverinate with volunteers on the Kintail camp. There is ample room for both groups as the base camp is large and well equipped. NB: As this project runs alongside the Kintail Camp (and with one minibus coming from Inverness and one from Edinburgh), spaces on the minibuses from either location are subject to booking once a place has been offered on the camp.

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Remoteness

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1100 Inverness 1600

Drop-off: Inverness 1200 Edinburgh 1500

INVEREWE 1 Wester Ross

V

Sat 5 – Sat 12 April

Kintail’s 7,431 hectares of magnificent West Highland scenery include the dramatic Falls of Glomach – Britain’s second highest waterfall with a single drop of 113m (370ft) – and the Five Sisters of Kintail, four of which are Munros at over 915m (3,000ft). The main task on the camp will be footpath work. You may also be planting trees and possibly constructing/repairing fences. You will share the Trust’s Morvich Base Camp near Inverinate with volunteers on the Balmacara camp. There is ample room for both groups as the base camp is large and well equipped. NB: As this project runs alongside the Balmacara Camp (and with one minibus coming from Inverness and one from Edinburgh), spaces on the minibuses from either location are subject to booking once a place has been offered on the camp. You will face the following: •

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Long, strenuous uphill walks some days to reach work site

Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly

You will face the following:

Fitness Level

6

KINTAIL 1 Ross-shire

Fitness Level

6 7

Places: 10 Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Nearest train station: Kyle of Lochalsh Accommodation STANDARD

Remoteness

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1100 Inverness 1600

Drop-off: Inverness 1200 Edinburgh 1500

8 7

Lying within the Wester Ross National Scenic Area, Inverewe Estate encompasses over 808 hectares of woodland and open moorland. At the heart of the estate is Osgood Mackenzie’s spectacular garden, begun in 1862. The garden is nurtured by the warm currents of the North Atlantic Drift, so a kaleidoscope of exotic plants blooms on the rocky peninsula beside Loch Ewe. During the week you will be involved in a range of tasks in the garden and shelterbelt. You will be removing Rhododendron ponticum to protect native biodiversity – this will involve cutting the rhododendron, removing the roots and burning on site. This is to create a corridor and prevent the spread of soft scale insects within the garden. NEW ACCOMMODATION. You will be staying at the White House, a short drive from Inverewe Garden, on the south side of Loch Ewe. You have the choice of staying in the house itself, which sleeps 8, or camping in the spacious wild gardens that surround the house. The house has a large social space with a wood-burning stove for all to share. The large garden features an arboretum and is a haven for wildlife. Garden birds, dragonflies, hedgehogs and pine martens are frequent visitors. Golden eagles have even been sighted at the property.

Fitness Level

5

Remoteness

5

Places: 10

Pick-up: INVERNESS 1600 Drop-off: INVERNESS 1200

Accommodation STANDARD

V

Sat 12 – Sat 19 April

Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Nearest train station: Kyle of Lochalsh

(GARDEN)

Places: 10

Cost (Conc): £115 (£85) House Nearest train station: Achnasheen £80 (£60) Camping Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD


Highlands & Islands INVEREWE 2 Wester Ross

(ESTATE)

V

Sat 19 – Sat 26 April

Lying within the Wester Ross National Scenic Area, Inverewe Estate comprises over 808 hectares of woodland and open moorland. At the heart of the estate is Osgood Mackenzie’s spectacular garden, begun in 1862. The garden is nurtured by the warm currents of the North Atlantic Drift, so a kaleidoscope of exotic plants blooms on the rocky peninsula beside Loch Ewe. During the week you will be involved in a range of tasks on the wider estate. You will be removing Rhododendron ponticum to encourage the natural regeneration of native trees and maintain the existing semi-natural woodland. Repairs and maintenance work may be done on estate footpaths and time may also be spent helping at another Trust property, Corrieshalloch Gorge. NEW ACCOMMODATION. You will be staying at the White House, a short drive from Inverewe Garden, on the south side of Loch Ewe. You have the choice of staying in the house itself, which sleeps 8, or camping in the spacious wild gardens that surround the house. The house has a large social space with a wood-burning stove for all to share. The large garden features an arboretum and is a haven for wildlife. Garden birds, dragonflies, hedgehogs and pine martens are frequent visitors. Golden eagles have even been sighted at the property.

CANNA 1 Small Isles

BEN LAWERS Perthshire

V

Sat 26 April – Sat 3 May

Canna is one of the most stunning and remote of the Small Isles. During your stay you’ll be doing a mixture of tasks. At Canna House you’ll be helping both inside and outside the walled garden. You will also spend part of the week working alongside the local community, helping them to maintain the island. Work will depend on what the islanders need, but may include painting, putting up signs, repairing benches or planting flowers.

Ben Lawers, the central Highlands’ highest mountain, rises from the shores of Loch Tay to a summit of 1,214m (3,983ft). From here you can see Glencoe and Ben Lomond to the west, the Cairngorms in the north and the Tarmachan range around you. Ben Lawers is a National Nature Reserve to protect its rich diversity of mountain plants and upland birdlife. Bird enthusiasts may spot ravens, ring ouzels, red grouse, ptarmigan, dippers and curlews.

You will need to make your own way to Mallaig in time to catch the 1425 ferry crossing to Canna on Saturday 26 April. You will also need to arrange your return journey home from Mallaig after 1405 on Saturday 3 May.

You will be working with Trust rangers on a variety of projects that support the property’s main conservation aims. These include a programme of habitat restoration, grazing management and footpath maintenance/boardwalk construction. Specific tasks on the camp may include tree planting, fence removal and some woodland work. A good level of fitness is essential.

You will stay at Kate’s Cottage or the Bothy on Canna. Both provide basic, comfortable accommodation and are heated by woodburning stoves.

You will be staying at the basic but comfortable Lynedoch Base Camp in the village of Killin.

You will face the following: •

Remote location

You will face the following:

You will face the following: •

V

Sat 10 – Sat 17 May

Long, strenuous uphill walks to the work site

Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly

Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (pick-up in Inverness only; drop-off in either Inverness or Edinburgh)

Fitness Level Remoteness

6 5

Pick-up: INVERNESS ONLY 1600 Places: 10 Drop-off: Inverness 1200 Cost (Conc): Edinburgh 1500 £115 (£85) House Nearest train station: Achnasheen £80 (£60) Camping Accommodation STANDARD

Fitness Level

Fitness Level

5

Remoteness

10

Remoteness

7 3

Pick-up: Mallaig Pier 1345

Places: 6

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 6

Drop-off: Mallaig Pier 1405

Cost (Conc): £180 (£130)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1200

Cost (Conc): £99 (£65)

Nearest train station: Crianlarich

Nearest train station: Mallaig Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD

‘Thank you very much to everyone involved and for the opportunity to come along. It was an amazing experience and I will definitely look into doing more volunteer work.

Accommodation SIMPLE

17


‘My week on the Kintail camp has to be one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It involved me doing many different tasks that I have never had the opportunity to do before and I learnt some new skills that will hopefully prove useful in the future.’

Highlands & Islands NEW

UNST ARCHAEOLOGY Shetland

D

Mon 19 – Thu 29 May

Located further north than mainland Shetland, Unst is Britain’s most northerly inhabited island. Visitors are in for a treat, as dramatic scenery and abundant wildlife are coupled with a tangible and very special sense of remoteness. The area is of interest to geologists, archaeologists, botanists and birdwatchers. Shetland has an incredibly rich archaeological heritage and some of that richness is reflected in many of the parcels of land managed by the Trust in Unst. Archaeological remains and landscapes abound, in the form of Viking settlements, ruinous buildings, house mounds, field systems and horizontal mills, all dating from at least the mid-19th century or earlier. The Thistle Camp will concentrate on recording the archaeology sites at Collaster in the west of Unst and participants will get the chance to excavate an Iron Age roundhouse and midden. NEW ACCOMMODATION. You will stay at Belmont House. Built in 1775 and recently restored to its original Georgian splendour, the property is a luxurious base from which to explore the island. You will face the following: •

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Fitness Level

Pick-up: LERWICK 1400 Drop-off: LERWICK 1400

TORRIDON 2 Wester Ross

Sat 31 May – Sat 7 June

8

V

You will face the following: • Possible severe weather – full waterproofs, stout walking boots and wellies are essential • 4-mile hike with equipment to and from the hostel at the start and end of the camp • Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly

Remoteness

10

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1000

Places: 8

Cost (Conc): £300 (£250)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1800

Cost (Conc): £115 (£90)

Nearest train station: Inverness

18

Accommodation SIMPLE

This splendid Highland estate has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Scotland. Liathach (a towering 1,055m / 3,461ft) and Beinn Alligin (986m / 3,235ft) are composed mainly of Torridonian sandstone dating back 750 million years. The estate takes in parts of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve and is home to red deer, Highland cattle, oystercatchers, golden eagles and a few pine martens and otters. During the week you will undertake a variety of tasks on the estate such as invasive species management and fencing. Other tasks on the estate will be confirmed nearer the time, but may include drystane dyking or footpath maintenance. You will stay at the Mol Mor Bunkhouse, which is very comfortable, with showers, a common room, wood-burning stove and clothes washing/drying facilities. Please note that you will need to bring a sleeping bag. You will face the following: •

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Long, strenuous uphill walks some days to reach work site

Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (pick-up from Edinburgh with Inverness pick-up en route, but only returning to Inverness)

Fitness Level

9

Places: 10

Accommodation SIMPLE

V

Sat 21 – Sat 28 June

This remote stretch of rugged land includes one of the Highlands’ most popular east–west paths, once part of the drove road from Skye to Dingwall. The Trust is committed to protecting the wild quality and beautiful character of this important landscape. This camp is a wonderful opportunity to ‘get away from it all’, as you will be working in a remote area about 21 miles (of footpath and Land Rover track) from Cannich, the nearest village. You will learn traditional footpath skills and assist Trust rangers with our ongoing woodland regeneration project, which may include tree planting and fence maintenance within some of the remote enclosures. A good level of fitness is essential. You will stay at the Glen Affric Youth Hostel (SYHA) at Alltbeithe, one of the most remote Scottish hostels and set amidst stunning scenery. It is very simple and there is only wind-powered electricity. Be prepared to share the hostel with walkers passing through the glen. Please note you will need to bring a sleeping bag.

Fitness Level

5

Remoteness

WEST AFFRIC Ross-shire

6

Remoteness

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1100 Inverness 1500

7

Places: 8

Drop-off: INVERNESS ONLY 1200 Cost (Conc): £110 (£75) Nearest train station: Achnasheen Accommodation STANDARD


Highlands & Islands FAIR ISLE 1 Shetland

KINTAIL 2 Ross-shire

Tues 24 June – Tues 8 July

V

(KAYAKING)

Sat 28 June – Sat 5 July

V

FAIR ISLE 2 Shetland

INVEREWE 3 Wester Ross

Tues 22 July – Tues 5 August

V

(GARDEN)

Sat 26 July – Sat 2 August

V

One of the most isolated inhabited islands in Britain, Fair Isle lies roughly halfway between the Orkney and Shetland islands. It is famous for its spectacularly rugged cliffs, vast seabird colonies and intricate, colourful knitting patterns. Fair Isle is home to a thriving crofting community and Thistle Camps are a vital part of island life. Volunteers do a variety of tasks and work alongside the crofters. Work will vary but typically includes crop weeding, painting, gardening, sheep clipping and mustering. The social life on Fair Isle camps is varied and immense fun. Football matches and dances with the islanders are often arranged and there will be the chance to try activities such as spinning and weaving. You will be staying at the Puffin, which is a basic bunkhouse. You will need to make your own way to Grutness on Shetland. If you choose not to fly, there is an overnight ferry crossing from Aberdeen or Orkney to Lerwick with NorthLink Ferries. The Thistle Camp runs Tuesday to Tuesday, but you will need to include the Monday before and Wednesday after in your travel plans. You will face the following: • Extremely remote location – good health and fitness is essential (N.B. you must already have undertaken a Thistle Camp elsewhere to apply) • Work on crofts can be hard and sometimes repetitive, this is unavoidable

Kintail’s 7,431 hectares of magnificent West Highland scenery include the dramatic Falls of Glomach, Britain’s second highest waterfall with a single drop of 113m (370ft) and the Five Sisters of Kintail, four of which are Munros at over 915m (3,000ft). From here you can see the area’s dramatic coastline, which happens to be some of the best for sea kayaking in the UK. This camp gives you the chance to experience the magnificent landscape around Kintail from a different perspective and the opportunity to help out with vital conservation work. The week will include three days repairing traditional footpaths on the estate as part of the Trust’s upland restoration project. The remaining time will be spent sea kayaking. Don’t worry if you have never kayaked before, as the camp includes full tuition and all the necessary equipment for you to explore and enjoy the local area in a kayak. You should bring a sleeping bag as the week may involve an overnight camp to work on remote footpath sites. You will be staying at the Trust’s Morvich Base Camp near Inverinate. The base camp is large and well equipped. You will face the following: • Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential • Long, strenuous uphill walks some days to reach work site • Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly • Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (pick-up in Inverness only, but minibus returning to Edinburgh with drop-off in Inverness available)

One of the most isolated inhabited islands in Britain, Fair Isle lies roughly halfway between the Orkney and Shetland islands. It is famous for its spectacularly rugged cliffs, vast seabird colonies and intricate, colourful knitting patterns. Fair Isle is home to a thriving crofting community and Thistle Camps are a vital part of island life. Volunteers do a variety of tasks and work alongside the crofters. Work will vary but typically includes crop weeding, painting, gardening, sheep clipping and mustering. The social life on Fair Isle camps is varied and immense fun. Football matches and dances with the islanders are often arranged and there will be the chance to try activities such as spinning and weaving. You will be staying at the Puffin, which is a basic bunkhouse. You will need to make your own way to Grutness on Shetland. If you choose not to fly, there is an overnight ferry crossing from Aberdeen or Orkney to Lerwick with NorthLink Ferries. The Thistle Camp runs Tuesday to Tuesday, but you will need to include the Monday before and Wednesday after in your travel plans. You will face the following: • Extremely remote location – good health and fitness is essential (N.B. you must already have undertaken a Thistle Camp elsewhere to apply) • Work on crofts can be hard and sometimes repetitive, this is unavoidable

Lying within the Wester Ross National Scenic Area, Inverewe Estate encompasses over 808 hectares of woodland and open moorland. At the heart of the estate is Osgood Mackenzie’s spectacular garden, begun in 1862. The garden is nurtured by the warm currents of the North Atlantic Drift, so a kaleidoscope of exotic plants blooms on the rocky peninsula beside Loch Ewe. During the week you will be involved in a range of tasks in the garden and shelterbelt. You will be removing Rhododendron ponticum to protect native biodiversity – this will involve cutting the rhododendron, removing the roots and burning on site. This is to create a corridor and prevent the spread of soft scale insects within the garden. NEW ACCOMMODATION. You will stay at the White House, a short drive from Inverewe Garden, on the south side of Loch Ewe. You have the choice of staying in the house itself, which sleeps 8, or camping in the spacious wild gardens that surround the house. The house has a large social space with a wood-burning stove for all to share. The large garden features an arboretum and is a haven for wildlife. Garden birds, dragonflies, hedgehogs and pine martens are frequent visitors. Golden eagles have even been sighted at the property. You will face the following: • Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (pick up in Inverness available)

Fitness Level

Fitness Level

Fitness Level

Fitness Level

5

Remoteness

5

4

Remoteness

10

Pick-up: Grutness Pier 1115

Places: 9

Drop-off: Grutness Pier 1010

Cost (Conc): £220 (£170)

Remoteness

Pick-up: INVERNESS 1600 Drop-off: Inverness 1200 Edinburgh 1700

6 7

4

Remoteness

10

Places: 8

Pick-up: Grutness Pier 1115

Places: 9

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1100

Cost (Conc): £299 (£250)

Drop-off: Grutness Pier 1010

Cost (Conc): £220 (£170)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1600

Nearest train station: Kyle of Lochalsh Accommodation SIMPLE

Accommodation STANDARD

Accommodation SIMPLE

Places: 10

Cost (Conc): £115 (£85) House Nearest train station: Achnasheen £80 (£60) Camping Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD

19


Highlands & Islands CANNA 2 Small Isles

CULLODEN DYKING Inverness-shire

V

Sat 9 – Sat 16 August

CANNA 3 Small Isles

D

Sat 16 – Sat 23 August

INVEREWE 4 Wester Ross

Sat 30 August – Sat 6 September

V

Canna is one of the most stunning and remote of the Small Isles. During your stay you’ll be doing a mixture of tasks. At Canna House you’ll be helping both inside and outside the walled garden. You will also spend part of the week working alongside the local community, helping them to maintain the island. Work will depend on what the islanders need, but may include painting, putting up signs, repairing benches or planting flowers.

The site of the last major battle fought on British soil, Culloden still stirs strong emotions 268 years later. The graves of the clans are marked with simple stones on this windswept field, while at the eastern edge a huge boulder marks the spot where the Duke of Cumberland directed government forces. Leanach Cottage, with its traditional heather-thatched roof, occupies the likely site of farm buildings at the time of the battle.

Canna is one of the most stunning and remote of the Small Isles. During your stay you’ll be doing a mixture of tasks. At Canna House you’ll be helping both inside and outside the walled garden. You will also spend part of the week working alongside the local community, helping them to maintain the island. Work will depend on what the islanders need, but may include painting, putting up signs, repairing benches or planting flowers.

You will need to make your own way to Mallaig in time to catch the 1425 ferry crossing to Canna on Saturday 9 August. You will also need to arrange your return journey home from Mallaig at 1405 on Saturday 16 August.

During this camp you will get to grips with drystane dyking techniques under the guidance of an experienced dyker. The drystane dyke running along the edge of the battlefield is disappearing and needs to be repaired and rebuilt. The plan is to repair as much of the dyke as possible and rebuild sections which are beyond repair, using new and recycled stone. Some drainage and path work should be available for those who need a break from dyking.

You will need to make your own way to Mallaig in time to catch the 1425 ferry crossing to Canna on Saturday 30 August. You will also need to arrange your return journey home from Mallaig at 1405 on Saturday 6 September.

You will stay at Kate’s Cottage or the Bothy on Canna. Both provide basic, comfortable accommodation and are heated by woodburning stoves.

You will stay at The Press, a traditional Scottish farmhouse that enjoys panoramic views across the Findhorn Valley.

You will face the following: •

Remote location

You will stay at Kate’s Cottage or the Bothy on Canna. Both provide basic, comfortable accommodation and are heated by woodburning stoves. You will face the following: •

Remote location

You will face the following: •

Fitness Level

Fitness Level

5

Remoteness

10

6

Fitness Level

Remoteness

5

Remoteness

10

Places: 6

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 10

Pick-up: Mallaig Pier 1345

Places: 6

Drop-off: Mallaig Pier 1405

Cost (Conc): £180 (£130)

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost (Conc): £170 (£130)

Drop-off: Mallaig Pier 1405

Cost (Conc): £180 (£130)

Nearest train station: Carrbridge or Inverness Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD

Accommodation DELUXE

Sat 20 – Sat 27 September

Nearest train station: Mallaig

Remoteness

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1100 Inverness 1600

Drop-off: INVERNESS ONLY 1200 Nearest train station: Achnasheen

Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD

V

Lying within the Wester Ross National Scenic Area, Inverewe Estate comprises over 808 hectares of woodland and open moorland. At the heart of the estate is Osgood Mackenzie’s spectacular garden, begun in 1862. The garden is nurtured by the warm currents of the North Atlantic Drift, so a kaleidoscope of exotic plants blooms on the rocky peninsula beside Loch Ewe. During the week you will be involved in a range of tasks on the wider estate. You will be removing Rhododendron ponticum to encourage the natural regeneration of native trees and maintain the existing semi-natural woodland. Repairs and maintenance work may be done on the Loch Kernsary path and time may be spent helping at the Laide and Aultbea community woodland with which we have a longstanding community involvement. NEW ACCOMMODATION You will stay at the White House, a short drive from Inverewe Garden, on the south side of Loch Ewe. You have the choice of staying in the house itself, which sleeps 8, or camping in the spacious wild gardens that surround the house. The house has a large social space with a wood-burning stove for all to share. The large garden features an arboretum and is a haven for wildlife. Garden birds, dragonflies, hedgehogs and pine martens are frequent visitors. Golden eagles have even been sighted at the property. You will face the following: • Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (pick-up in either Inverness or Edinburgh available, but drop-off in Inverness only) Fitness Level

5

Pick-up: Mallaig Pier 1345

Nearest train station: Mallaig

20

Strenuous and repetitive lifting

(ESTATE & AULTBEA)

6 5

Places: 10 Cost (Conc): £115 (£85) House £80 (£60) Camping Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD


Highlands & Islands INVEREWE 5 Wester Ross

(GARDEN)

Sat 27 Sept – Sat 4 Oct

V

Lying within the Wester Ross National Scenic Area, Inverewe Estate encompasses over 808 hectares of woodland and open moorland. At the heart of the estate is Osgood Mackenzie’s spectacular garden, begun in 1862. The garden is nurtured by the warm currents of the North Atlantic Drift, so a kaleidoscope of exotic plants blooms on the rocky peninsula beside Loch Ewe. During the week you will be involved in a range of tasks in the garden and shelterbelt. You will be removing Rhododendron ponticum to protect native biodiversity – this will involve cutting the rhododendron, removing the roots and burning on site. This is to create a corridor and prevent the spread of soft scale insects within the garden. NEW ACCOMMODATION. You will stay at the White House, a short drive from Inverewe Garden, on the south side of Loch Ewe. You have the choice of staying in the house itself, which sleeps 8, or camping in the spacious wild gardens that surround the house. The house has a large social space with a wood-burning stove for all to share. The large garden features an arboretum and is a haven for wildlife. Garden birds, dragonflies, hedgehogs and pine martens are frequent visitors. Golden eagles have even been sighted at the property. You will face the following: • Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (pick up in Inverness available)

TORRIDON 3 Ross-shire

This splendid Highland estate has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Scotland. Liathach (a towering 1,055m / 3,461ft) and Beinn Alligin (986m / 3,235ft) are composed mainly of Torridonian sandstone dating back 750 million years. The estate takes in parts of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve and is home to red deer, Highland cattle, oystercatchers, golden eagles and a few pine martens and otters. This is our late season, hardcore footpath camp for the high mountain lovers. During the week you will mainly be repairing and maintaining the Coire Mhic Nobuil and Coire Dubh footpaths. Footpath work is vital to protect this beautiful landscape from erosion. You will need to have a good level of fitness and waterproofs and clothing to deal with the cold, wet and wind. You will be staying at the Mol Mor Bunkhouse, which is very comfortable, with showers, a common room, wood-burning stove and clothes washing/drying facilities. Please note that you will need to bring a sleeping bag. You will face the following: • Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential • Long, strenuous uphill walks some days to reach work site • Lifting and carrying heavy items regularly • Pick-up and drop-off at different locations (pick-up in Inverness only, but minibus returning to Edinburgh with drop-off in Inverness available)

5

Fitness Level

Remoteness

5

Remoteness

Places: 10

Cost (Conc): £115 (£85) House Nearest train station: Achnasheen £80 (£60) Camping Drop-off: INVERNESS 1200

Accommodation SIMPLE/STANDARD

V

Sat 4 – Sat 11 October

Fitness Level

Pick-up: INVERNESS 1600

(FOOTPATHS)

Pick-up: INVERNESS 1600 Drop-off: Inverness 1200 Edinburgh 1500

8 7

Places: 8 Cost (Conc): £110 (£75)

Nearest train station: Achnasheen

‘I had an amazing week and was extremely sorry to have to leave. I have made many great friends, the staff were brilliant, the cooking was amazing and the work was really rewarding! Good fun, thank you!’

Accommodation STANDARD

21


TRAILBLAZERS

22

It was fabulous. I met some great people and feel thoroughly inspired!


Trailblazers If you are too young for a Thistle Camp, a Trailblazer may be just what you’re looking for. Aimed at 16- and 17-year-olds, Trailblazer working holidays provide the opportunity for you to learn new skills and do some conservation under the guidance of qualified rangers and leaders.

‘The volunteers all got on brilliantly and there has been lots of laughter and new friendships!’

On a Trailblazer working holiday, volunteers spend six nights at a Trust property learning how to do all kinds of practical countryside conservation tasks, while learning about the local environment and wildlife. No experience is necessary to take part, as full instructions will be given at all times by Trust leaders and rangers. Trailblazers also include a special day of adventure activities, which can include anything from mountain biking to sea kayaking on the open water. As on a Thistle Camp, all volunteers are expected to contribute to cooking and cleaning in some way. Bad cooks needn’t worry – the camp always needs people to help with the washing-up! Trailblazers can potentially contribute towards a number of award schemes, including the Duke of Edinburgh and John Muir awards. Campers on these schemes who want their experience to count towards them should bring their award books on holiday with them – our leaders will fill them out at the end of the week, taking into account willingness to work and contributions to the camp’s domestic aspects. Volunteers will need to stay for the entire duration of the holiday to qualify. To comply with current health and safety legislation, Trailblazers have a higher level of supervision than Thistle Camps. Parental consent will be sought prior to any action-type activity and all instruction will be provided by fully qualified staff. Additionally, all leaders involved with the scheme are required to go through the disclosure process generated by the Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003, and the Trust holds an Adventure Activities Licence as required by the Health and Safety Executive. As we have a higher level of supervision and arranged activities on the Trailblazers, they cost considerably more to run than our average Thistle Camps. Thus, we’d like to thank Scottish Natural Heritage for their generous financial support for the programme.

‘An excellent fun-packed week!’ ‘Lots of giggles, gorgeous surroundings, quality people and awesome leadership. Thank you!’ Before applying to a Trailblazer, please note the following: •

Volunteers under 18 years of age may not consume alcohol while on a Trailblazer. Due to strict laws on under-age drinking, those who disregard this regulation will be asked to leave the camp following contact with their parents or guardian.

The Trust’s responsibility for under-18s starts and finishes at the pick-up and drop-off points for all Trailblazer camps. For most camps the pick-up/drop-off point is No. 5 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. If volunteers wish to be dropped off at an alternative point (e.g. a railway station), parental consent must be given in writing prior to the start of the camp. 23


Trailblazers HOUSE OF DUN TRAILBLAZER Montrose (ARCHAEOLOGY)

MAR LODGE TRAILBLAZER Cairngorms

Sat 19 – Fri 25 July

Sat 19 – Fri 25 July

This beautiful Georgian house was built in 1730 by William Adam, and the estate was home to the Erskine family from 1375 until 1980. The house sits in formal gardens with parkland and woodland beyond, overlooking the Montrose Basin Nature Reserve which is internationally important for its migratory wading birds and wildfowl.

Located in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Mar Lodge Estate boasts some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in Scotland. Its 29,380 hectares take in a large remnant of Caledonian pine forest and 15 Munros, including four of the five highest mountains in Britain. Mar Lodge Estate is also one of the most important nature conservation landscapes in Britain, lying partly within the Cairngorms National Nature Reserve and including several Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Visitors may see red squirrels, pine martens, red deer and golden eagles.

During this camp you will be digging up the medieval castle of Dun! (How good does that sound?!) You will stay in the cosy House of Dun Base Camp. Converted from an estate cottage, the base camp provides comfortable dormitory accommodation and includes a communal area with a lovely open fire, telephone, showers and drying room. Please note that you will need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow case.

You will face the following: •

Heavy shovelling and mattocking

V

You will be doing a variety of work, which will depend on conservation priorities in July. Work may include plantation restructuring, brash clearance, fence marking and removal, and footpath maintenance. You will be staying at the Stable Block Base Camp, adjacent to Mar Lodge itself. The base camp is comfortable with a fully equipped kitchen, sitting room, dining room, drying room and oil-fired central heating. You will face the following:

Fitness Level Remoteness

5 3

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Occasional long, strenuous uphill walks to reach work site

Sat 26 July – Fri 1 August

V

+

As you sail across to the Isle of Arran you will catch a glimpse of Brodick Castle overlooking Brodick Bay, just as it has for centuries. Brodick Country Park forms a beautiful backdrop to the castle. The 874m (2,867ft) summit of Goatfell looms majestically above woodland trails, tumbling waterfalls and wildflower meadows, where Highland cows graze. This Trailblazer is aimed specifically at young women. You will work alongside female rangers and leaders to learn a variety of practical conservation skills, including upland footpath repair, rhododendron control, bog restoration and lowland footpath work. Upland footpath repairs are necessary to ensure visitor safety and protect Goatfell’s slopes from erosion. Rhododendron ponticum has taken over much of the native woodland and is preventing mature trees from regenerating. You may also have a chance to improve access to the woodlands and gorges by helping develop the network of lowland trails. You will be staying at the Shore Lodge Base Camp, which is fully equipped, warm and comfortable. There are showers, a lounge, dining room, telephone and drying room. Please note that bed linen and duvets are provided. You will face the following: • Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential • Occasional long, strenuous uphill walks to reach work site

Fitness Level

5

Fitness Level

Remoteness

5

Remoteness

5

Kintail’s 7,431 hectares of magnificent West Highland scenery include the dramatic Falls of Glomach, Britain’s second highest waterfall with a single drop of 113m (370ft) and the Five Sisters of Kintail, four of which are Munros at over 915m (3,000ft) high. You will be carrying out footpath maintenance on some of the remote footpaths and vegetation management at various sites on the estate. Footpath work is rewarding but can be strenuous, so be prepared! You will need a full set of good waterproofs, Wellington boots AND stout walking boots. You will be staying at the Trust’s Morvich Base Camp near Inverinate. The base camp is large and well equipped. You will face the following: •

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Occasional long, strenuous uphill walks to reach work site

Fitness Level Remoteness

3

V

Sat 26 July – Fri 1 August

5 7

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 8

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 8

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1130

Places: 8

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1200

Places: 8

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost: £230

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost: £230

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost: £230

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1500

Cost: £230

Nearest train station: Montrose Accommodation STANDARD

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KINTAIL TRAILBLAZER Ross-shire

BRODICK FEMALE TRAILBLAZER Isle of Arran

Nearest train station: Perth or Aberdeen Accommodation STANDARD

Nearest train station: Ardrossan Accommodation STANDARD

Nearest train station: Kyle of Lochalsh Accommodation STANDARD


Trailblazers BEN LOMOND TRAILBLAZER Argyll, Bute & Loch Lomond

V

Sat 2 – Fri 8 August

BEN LAWERS TRAILBLAZER Perthshire

GLENCOE TRAILBLAZER Argyll

Towering 974m (3,196ft) over the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond offers spectacular views across the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. During this camp you will be doing a variety of tasks, but, depending on the weather, we are planning on spending several days on highaltitude footpath repair work. This will be balanced with lower-altitude estate management work, such as fence repairs, during the rest of the week. You will be based at Ben Lomond Bunkhouse, the former ranger’s house at the foot of Ben Lomond. This has recently been converted for group accommodation; it is warm and comfortable, with a large kitchen, sitting room, good showers and excellent laundry facilities. You will face the following: •

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Occasional long, strenuous uphill walks to reach work site

V

Sat 2 – Fri 8 August

With towering mountains sweeping down on both sides of the glen, Glencoe is both spectacularly beautiful and of immense ecological importance. It contains the Glencoe and Eas na Broige Sites of Special Scientific Interest and is covered by the Glencoe Special Area of Conservation. Glencoe is internationally important for its plant life, particularly arctic alpine flora such as saxifrage, butterwort and tormentil. Glencoe’s mountains also shelter red and roe deer, grouse, red squirrels and otters, while golden eagles circle overhead. During the week you will be assisting with the Trust’s ongoing programme of footpath maintenance, which helps to control erosion on Glencoe’s mountains. You may also carry out some woodland management and/or drystane dyking at a number of sites throughout the glen. Your accommodation will be at the Corran Bunkhouse, which is well appointed and comfortable. You will face the following:

V

Sat 9 – Fri 15 August

Ben Lawers, the central Highlands’ highest mountain, rises from the shores of Loch Tay to a summit of 1,214m (3,983ft). From here you can see Glencoe and Ben Lomond to the west, the Cairngorms in the north and the Tarmachan range around you. Ben Lawers is a National Nature Reserve to protect its rich diversity of mountain plants and upland birdlife. Bird enthusiasts may spot ravens, ring ouzels, red grouse, ptarmigan, dippers and curlews. You will be working closely with Trust rangers on a variety of projects that support the property’s main conservation aims. These include a programme of habitat restoration, grazing management and upland footpath maintenance. Specific tasks on the camp may include fence removal, tree planting and some woodland work. You will be staying at the Lynedoch Base Camp in the village of Killin.

You will face the following:

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Possible severe weather – full waterproofs and stout walking boots are essential

Occasional long, strenuous uphill walks to reach work site

Occasional long, strenuous uphill walks to reach work site

Fitness Level

5

Fitness Level

5

Fitness Level

Remoteness

5

Remoteness

5

Remoteness

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 8

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1400

Places: 8

Pick-up: Edinburgh 1500

Places: 8

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost: £230

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1400

Cost: £230

Drop-off: Edinburgh 1300

Cost: £230

Nearest train station: Balloch

Nearest train station: Fort William Accommodation STANDARD

Accommodation STANDARD/DELUXE

‘An amazing experience in a stunning part of Scotland with organised and humorous leaders. Brilliant!’

5 3

Nearest train station: Crianlarich Accommodation SIMPLE

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How to Apply THE ALLOCATION PROCESS EXPLAINED Over the years we have developed an application and allocation process to fill places on the camps. Many camps require certain skills or benefit greatly from having a proportion of experienced campers on them to ensure work is of a sufficient standard. Other camps have to be juggled to make sleeping arrangements work. Therefore, a first-come, first-served system has proved impractical. From experience, the following process has proved to be the fairest and easiest method for all concerned:

OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS – Friday 13 December 2013 •

The 2014 website and brochure will be live and sent out. You are able to apply for camps from this date onwards.

APPLICATION DEADLINE – 9am Wednesday 8 January 2014 •

Spaces on camps will not begin to be allocated until this date. All applications received before this date will be given equal priority and camp spaces will be allocated on a lottery basis from this pool.

ALLOCATION DEADLINE – 5pm Friday 17 January 2014 •

This is our deadline for informing everyone who applied for a camp before the application deadline about which, if any, camp they have been successful in applying for.

After this process, any remaining vacancies will be visible on the website and filled on a firstcome, first-served basis.

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HOW TO APPLY Firstly, please take the time to read both the camp descriptions and the grading system and pick the RIGHT CAMP FOR YOU! There are a number of camps that are strenuous or involve lots of walking, etc, but there are many more that don’t. Please make a decision based on what you know you are capable of doing or are happy to challenge yourself to! You can apply for Thistle Camps both online and by post. •

To apply online, go to the Thistle Camp website at www.nts.org.uk/ThistleCamps, click the ‘Apply’ button at the top right of the screen and follow the subsequent instructions in order to register. If you applied by post or online last year, you will already have a user profile and do not need to register – you can request that your login details are emailed to you if you don’t know or can’t remember them.

To apply by post, complete and return the enclosed application form stating the number of camps you wish to attend – the maximum number being three, with two reserve choices. Please do NOT send payment with your application. Return the form to Thistle Camps, The National Trust for Scotland, Hermiston Quay, 5 Cultins Road, Edinburgh, EH11 4DF.

As there is stiff competition for places on Trailblazer camps, applicants should write a couple of sentences in their application outlining why they wish to attend. Places will then be allocated based on the answers received. There are a number of discounts you can apply for: Double Bed Discount: Some Thistle Camps have accommodation which includes a double bed, and a 10% discount may potentially be offered to partners or friends who are prepared to share it. Those interested in such a discount should tick the ‘Prepared to share a double bed’ box and give the name of their partner or friend on the application form. If we are able to offer a discount, we will contact applicants to confirm this arrangement prior to the camp’s start. Driver Discount: It is very often a great help to have a second or third driver available, especially on our more remote camps. If you are legally able and willing to drive for us then please tick the ‘Willing to drive for NTS’ box on your application and you may be eligible for a 10% discount. Again, we will contact applicants to confirm this arrangement prior to the camp’s start. Most of our camps use 12-seater minibuses and legally the driver must have D1 on their licence. We in addition require that driver to have a valid MIDAS certification unless they are a professional bus or minibus driver. We occasionally use a smaller 9-seater people carrier that does not require D1 or MIDAS. Concession Discount: Unlike most of our Working Holiday rivals, we continue to operate a concessions system in order to keep our camps as affordable as possible to those on limited incomes. The Trust subsidises the Thistle Camp programme from general funds as, in most cases, the contributions you make may not even cover the accommodation costs! Please help us to continue offering concessions by not abusing that system. Concessions are intended for: full-time students; those in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support; those over retirement age (currently 62 years for women / 65 years for men). Couples or friends who want to come together should each fill in an individual application form online or by post, making sure that each indicates the name of the person they want to share with. Please note that no more than two people can apply to come together to any one Thistle Camp or Trailblazer.

Not only have I enjoyed the work, I have enjoyed the company. The fun, the sense of achievement and the camaraderie were simply brilliant. Stunning location!


General Information WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? •

Application acknowledgement email/letter – This is our confirmation of receiving your application. If you haven’t done so already please add thistlecamps@nts.org.uk to your email contacts to avoid future correspondence ending up in your junk mail folder

Offer of place email/letter – If you are allocated a place on a camp you will be sent confirmation of that offer and requesting payment within 28 days in order to secure your place. If payment is not received in that period, we reserve the right to withdraw the offer and open the place for new applicants

Payment Pay online – You can pay by credit or debit card (except American Express) by logging on to the account you set up for your application. If you applied by post a username and password will have been created for you. If you don’t know or can’t remember your log-in details you can request that they are emailed to you Cheques – We can only accept cheques in pounds sterling, made payable to The National Trust for Scotland. Send the cheque to: Thistle Camps, The National Trust for Scotland, Hermiston Quay, 5 Cultins Road, Edinburgh EH11 4DF Bank transfer – If you are unable to pay online from overseas, foreign currency payments can be made by Bank to Bank transfer (BACS). Please contact us for details if you need to pay in this fashion as it can sometimes take longer than the 28-day payment limit. We may ask those using BACS to pay a £5 supplementary fee to cover the cost of international telephone and banking charges

Travel plans – this is for you! Please do not feel like you have to wait for your joining instructions before booking your travel to/from your pick up point! While we cannot guarantee that things will not change, the times advertised in our brochure and website are thoroughly researched

Joining instructions will be issued at least six weeks before the start of the camp. They will include packing and equipment lists, contact details of leaders and accommodation, and any other useful information.

‘Having never been on a Thistle Camp before, I was pleasantly surprised by how brilliantly the camps are organised and how enjoyable they are.’

WAITING LISTS We are no longer operating camp-specific waiting lists. Vacancies that arise on camps, through cancellation or non-payment, will be opened up on the website AND advertised via the short notice waiting list. If you want to be on the short notice waiting list you MUST have an email address. •

Short Notice Waiting List – If you think you may be available at short notice throughout the year and wish to be informed of any camp vacancies make sure you tick the ‘short notice vacancies’ box on the application form.

Camp Vacancies – When we email about a vacancy we will normally request people to reply positively by a set date (given in the email); the vacancies will then be offered on the basis of who originally applied first.

Vacancies on camps running imminently (normally within 2 weeks) – These will generally be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

In all cases we will request immediate payment for the camp.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND CASH •

Payment confirmation email / letter – You will be notified that we have received payment. You can also check your account on our website to see whether your payment has gone through

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General Information WHAT TO BRING ALONG Preparing for the Scottish summer can seem a daunting task, but as long as you bring along the essentials you should be all right. While we all hope for Thistle Camps to be sunny all week long, campers should prepare for cold and wet weather whatever the forecast. A full packing list will be sent out ahead of your camp, but you will need the following for most projects: warm and waterproof clothing, a hardwearing waterproof jacket and trousers and sturdy walking or Wellington boots. Additionally, some kinds of work such as drystane dyking, fencing and upland footpath repair will require steel toe-cap boots. Ponchos, trainers and light footwear will not be suitable for work on any camp. And, it’s not just the Scottish weather that Thistle Campers have to consider – the Scottish midge can be a real nuisance if you don’t come prepared. We advise campers to bring along insect repellent and a midge net, and to cover bare arms and legs during the day. Finally, remember to come prepared for sunshine as well as rain. Cool, loose-fitting work clothes, a sun hat and sun cream should all be brought along, as well as a flask so you can keep hydrated throughout the working day. And don’t forget personal items as well – personal medication, evening spending money, music for the journey and a rucksack will all make the holiday go more smoothly.

WHO’S IN CHARGE? All camps will have an experienced leader and if possible a co-leader, who will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the camp and for ensuring you have a good holiday. On most camps there will also be property staff on the work site, such as gardeners or rangers, who will explain what work you will be doing and how it will benefit the countryside.

IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT? There is no upper age limit for Thistle Camps, but volunteers must be 18 years old before the first day of the camp. If you are 16 or 17 years old you can apply for a Trailblazer Camp.

DO I HAVE TO BE PHYSICALLY FIT? Thistle Camps are fun, but volunteers also work hard. When selecting your camp(s), please ensure you are prepared for outdoor work. All camps are based outside all day and will require you to use tools such as a bow saw or spade. Some camps are more demanding than others. Upland footpath repair requires a higher level of fitness than other camps. If you are unsure whether you will be physically fit enough, please contact us by emailing thistlecamps@nts.org.uk.

HOW TO GET THERE We provide transport to the accommodation from the pickup point detailed in the programme. Please check the pickup and drop-off details carefully, as in some cases the camp

28

may have different pick-up and drop-off points, especially for projects in the far north or Aberdeenshire when we have a circuit of camps running. We have done our best to provide accurate pick-up and drop-off times for each camp, but please note that these are based on the previous year’s times and as such may be subject to change, especially where ferries are involved. If you would like to make your own way to the accommodation you are welcome to do so, but you must inform us in advance.

HOW TO KEEP SAFE

accommodation available. Please be prepared for less than the comforts of home and to share a room, often with bunk beds. See the key at the start of this brochure for further details.

ARE OVERSEAS VISITORS WELCOME? Overseas visitors are welcome but you must be able to speak good conversational English. We will explain technical words you are unlikely to know, but our leaders are not necessarily fluent in any other language. All safety instructions will be given in English and it is essential you speak the language well enough to understand these.

In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the National Trust for Scotland is responsible for providing and maintaining a working environment throughout each camp’s duration which is, so far as is reasonably practical, safe and without risk to health. On your camp you will be shown how to use all tools and equipment safely before you start work, with safety equipment being provided. Volunteers must be responsible at all times and ensure that no action is taken to put themselves, other volunteers, members of staff or the public at risk. We reserve the right to ask a volunteer to leave a project if their behaviour is adversley affecting the safety or welfare of the camp, any individuals or members of the public. Further information is detailed in the guidebook Thistle Camp Health and Safety Guidelines for Conservation Volunteers, which will be sent with your joining instructions. You must read this prior to the start of the camp and we require that you sign a disclaimer stating that you have read it when you join.

Unlike other organised holidays, the UK Border Agency classifies our working holidays, and volunteering in general, in the same band as paid work. As such those travelling to the UK without an EU or Swiss Passport will need to ensure they have a passport and visa that allows them to work in the UK if they wish to attend one of our camps, even if attending as part of longer tourist visit. You may be queried on entry into the UK on the purpose of your visit even if you hold a valid tourist visa. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct paperwork and the Trust cannot sponsor, nor give help or advice on obtaining an entry visa for the UK. Please contact the UK Border Agency (www.ukvisas.gov.uk) or your nearest British Consulate to determine whether you will need a visa.

We recommend that all volunteers ensure that their tetanus boosters are up to date before the camp starts.

OTHER INFORMATION

DOMESTIC ARRANGEMENTS Cooking is done on a communal basis with everyone expected to lend a hand through the week; this helps us keep the costs of our camps as low as possible. All food for the week is provided with the exception of the evening meal on the day off, when traditionally (where we can) we will normally eat out. On Trailblazers, the Trust will pay for the local equivalent of a standard meal – any drinks or the difference for more costly menu items will need to be met by the camper. Please be aware that fresh produce cannot be guaranteed every day, particularly on remote projects. Allergies and special diets can be catered for if we are informed in advance. During your camp you will be expected to work from 9 to 5, with lunch and regular tea breaks taken on site. Your evenings will be spent at leisure and there will be a day off midway through the camp, when it will be possible to explore the local area and relax. On Fair Isle camps weekends are also at leisure. Thistle Camps are based in the best accommodation possible – normally a Trust base camp or outdoor centre that provides heating, beds and showers. Standards vary depending on the area and the

At the end of your camp you will receive a Volunteer Card as a thank you for all your hard work. Volunteer Cards are valid for one year from date of issue and entitle you to free entry to all National Trust for Scotland and National Trust properties. You will also receive a 20% discount in National Trust for Scotland shops for the same period. Please note that the Volunteer Card is not a Trust membership. If you choose to support the National Trust for Scotland by becoming a member, you will also be entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting, receive our magazine Scotland in Trust and use your Volunteer Card to bring a guest to properties free of charge.

CANCELLATIONS Please do not book a camp unless you are certain you can attend. If you do have to cancel, your fee less a £20 administration charge will be refunded provided your written cancellation reaches us 28 days before the start of the camp. Refunds cannot be made after this. In the unlikely event of the Trust cancelling a Thistle Camp we will inform those booked onto it immediately. An alternative camp will be offered or a total refund made. If you are travelling long distances or from overseas you may wish to consider holiday insurance in case of cancellation, as the Trust cannot cover travel expenses to or from the pick-up point.

COMPLAINTS POLICY If you have cause for complaint during the camp you should notify the Project Leader so that we can resolve any issues at the earliest opportunity. If the problem remains unresolved despite this and you wish to write to us, you must do so within 14 days of the camp’s completion. We will investigate the grievance and reply at the earliest opportunity.

INSURANCE All volunteers are covered under the Trust’s Employer’s Liability Policy which provides an indemnity in the event of bodily injury arising out of the course of employment in connection with the Trust. Volunteers’ personal possessions are not insured by the Trust against accidental loss or damage. We recommend that you do not bring items of high value or large amounts of spending money. If you are travelling long distances or from overseas you may wish to consider holiday insurance in case of cancellation, as the Trust cannot cover travel expenses to or from the pick-up point. A copy of the Trust’s Conservation Volunteers insurance guidelines, Take Cover, will be included in your joining instructions.

TRAVEL INFORMATION VisitScotland

www.visitscotland.com

Tourist Information Edinburgh Lerwick Tourist Information Office (Shetland)

www.edinburgh.org visit.shetland.org

Due to advance planning, all listings for Thistle Camps are subject to change.

National Rail Enquiry Line

www.nationalrail.co.uk

Caledonian MacBrayne (for ferries Scotland-wide)

www.calmac.co.uk

TRANSFERS

NorthLink Ferries (for Shetland)

www.northlinkferries.co.uk

Edinburgh Airport

www.edinburghairport.com

If you wish to transfer your booking from one camp to another, please inform us as soon as possible and no later than 28 days before the start date of either camp. There is a £15 administration charge for each transfer. Transfers must be confirmed in writing to: Thistle Camps, The National Trust for Scotland, Hermiston Quay, 5 Cultins Road, Edinburgh EH11 4DF.

Glasgow Airport Traveline Scotland The Man in Seat 61

www.glasgowairport.com www.travelinescotland.com www.seat61.com


More Volunteer Groups Additional Thistle Camp volunteer opportunities may be available throughout the year. Please check our website www.nts.org.uk/ThistleCamps for regular updates. LOCAL CONSERVATION VOLUNTEER GROUPS In addition to Thistle Camps, the Trust also has five local groups of Conservation Volunteers based in Glasgow, Grampian, Highland, Lothian and Tayside. Conservation Volunteers carry out practical conservation work during weekend projects throughout the year on Trust properties all over Scotland. All weekend projects are free to registered volunteers, and food, accommodation and transport are provided. No experience is necessary but you must be over 18, reasonably fit and enjoy working out of doors. For a copy of one of the groups’ work programmes please visit www.nts.org.uk/Volunteering/Outdoor or telephone 0844 493 2589.

HELP BRING OUR PROPERTIES TO LIFE! If you are interested in helping the Trust’s conservation and preservation work in other roles, including gardening, property guiding or assisting at special events, please get in touch with our Volunteering Department. You can see current volunteering opportunities on our website www.nts.org.uk/volunteering or telephone +44 (0)844 493 2402 for further details.

THE NATIONAL TRUST The National Trust, our sister organisation, runs 250 conservation working holidays throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are opportunities to take part in drystone walling, the creation of new wildlife habitats, setting up major events and much more. Participants must be reasonably fit, aged 16 or over, and enjoy making new friends. For this year’s brochure please call 0844 800 1895 (+44 844 800 1895 from overseas) or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/workingholidays

OTHER HOLIDAY OPPORTUNITIES Enjoy a different side to our properties when all the visitors have gone! The National Trust for Scotland has over 50 properties available for self-catering holidays across Scotland, ranging from cottages on Highland country estates to remote crofts on the Isle of Skye, from wings of castles and a shooting lodge in the Cairngorms to apartments in Edinburgh’s historic city centre. All our properties are comfortable, furnished to reflect their character and priced according to their situation, style and capacity. For further details please contact the Holidays Department by telephoning +44 (0)844 493 2108 or by visiting www.nts.org.uk/holidays

‘Since volunteering for the Thistle Camps, I have definitely got the bug for being outdoors and appreciating everything our countryside has to offer.’

Photographic credits: Jon Downie

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3843 PP 2c 12/13

For further details of our 2014 programme for Thistle Camps, and to apply for a place, please go to www.nts.org.uk/thistlecamps Otherwise, contact us at: Phone: +44 (0)844 493 2590 Fax: +44 (0)131 243 9593 Email: thistlecamps@nts.org.uk

Thistle Camps 2014 Brochure  

National Trust for Scotland Thistle Camps 2014 Brochure.

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