As leaders and instructors, we are often focused on getting our clients to the summit and back. Although the body of our work may be orientated around the higher tops, we do spend quite some time in the glens and lower slopes of the mountains – often on the approach and at the tail end of the day. When the weather turns against us, again we opt for low level excursions, sheltering in the forests. But does your environmental knowledge stretch to these altitude zones?
Workshop content & learning outcomes:
This workshop looks at the transition of habitats from glen to the higher summits, focusing on the wildlife that inhabits the lower ecological zones below the ‘hostile habitats’ of the high plateau. We will visit standing and flowing water bodies, extensive mixed forests of Pine, Larch and Birch and the transition zone where vegetative cover gives way to open slopes, enabling an understanding of the wildlife species frequenting each habitat.
The day will be orientated towards species identification for outdoor leaders, however, it is also suitable for those wishing to simply increase their own understanding of flora and fauna for personal enjoyment. Birds, mammals and common plants will be our primary subject matter, but we will also discuss forest regeneration in the Cairngorm area and topics of ‘rewilding’. This workshop will provide you with information about the natural history of the lower and intermediate ecological zones and hopefully dovetail with pre-existing knowledge of arctic-alpine specialists, so your environmental knowledge as a leader is complete from bottom to top!
We will be out for around 6-7 hours and if the weather allows, over rough terrain for part of the day. Please come suitably dressed for a full day on the hill with personal food and drink. Bring binoculars if you have them, a notepad and pen.
This workshop is eligible for MTA, AMI and BAIML CPD points
Alex Rhodes is an outdoor instructor and naturalist based in the Southwest who runs Summit Sense – incorporating environmental learning into traditional leadership & skills instruction. He has a BSc in Zoology, holds the ML and RCI awards and is currently consolidating the MCI award ahead of assessment. Alongside this, Alex works as guide for the Scottish-based birdwatching tour operator Heatherlea.
To book, please follow this link to Eventbrite and quote your Association number if applicable: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/84750748771