We had a most enjoyable get together for our guide meeting in the beautiful village of Fort Augustus situated at the south end of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. We were in the most unusual climatic situation.The central belt of Scotland had been hit by the "Beast from the East" and we had been spared from the heavy snowfalls, although we did not escape the extreme wind chill.
We were pleased to welcome our new guides to the team, Malcolm Wade and Vicki Mayes. Unfortunately Emma O'Shea was unable to attend but we will look forward to meeting Emma during the season.
Our team at the meeting L-R: Karen, Nigel, Richard, Fiona, Ian, Frieda, Malcolm, Lesley, Alastair, Vicki, Stewart
The Outdoor First Aid Certificate for some of us was due for renewal and our guide Stewart Richardson, who is also a first aid trainer, took them through their paces, while some of the others used this time to walk up some nearby hills.
Lesley's 1st aid certificate was still valid so she walked up Beinn Loinne and took this wintry photo.
On the second day all the guides joined a half-day first aid refresher with various outdoor scenario's, so all the guides are ready to deal with any eventuality during your hiking holiday with About Argyll Walking Holidays.
Dealing with our "casualty".
CPR on a second casualty. They both made it! (back to the car)
We also spent time looking into the customer feedback of the last two years to make sure that everybody knows what is important to you. The guides were also updated about our plans and new developments. Guides that are already longer with us shared their experiences and knowledge of the walks of each holiday with the new guides.
On the last day we travelled further north to Drundreggan Estate in Glen Moriston. This is a 10,000 acre expanse of spectacular wild land and it is the flagship forest restoration project of Trees for Life. Dundreggan is a hive of conservation activity. Each year, over 30,000 native trees are grown in their tree nursery, trialling innovative ways to propagate rare and hard-to-grow species such as aspen, dwarf birch and dwarf willow. After visiting the tree nursery, operations manager Douglas Gilbert took us for a walk into the estate, showed what effects it has and told us about their reforesting work along the way.
Visit to Trees for Life's Dundreggan Estate
Since 2009, About Argyll Walking Holidays has held a Gold Green Tourism Award for our commitment to preserve and promote the value of Scotland's wild areas. We aim to reduce the environmental impact of our walking holidays and of our office, ensuring the long-term sustainability of tourism in Scotland.
As part of our commitment to sustainable business practices, we give a donation to Trees for Life for every holiday we run to reduce the impact of the carbon emissions of our minibuses and we encourage participants to donate to reduce the impact of their journey to Scotland. More and more of you do, which is really appreciated and it means that Trees for Life can plant even more trees.