District News, January 7 2022

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Village school one of Scotland’s most scenic

Tiny Glenbarr Primary School, which has just six pupils, has just missed out on being named Scotland’s most scenic school.

More than 20,000 votes were cast in a Twitter contest organised by Henry Hepburn, news editor at education resource magazine and website Tes Scotland, to highlight the stunning locations of Scotland’s schools.

The competition attracted 46 schools and celebrities even got involved, re-Tweeting posts to boost votes during the few days of competition in December.

Despite having so few students, Glenbarr reached the nail-biting semi-final, just short of the final.

With views overlooking Ben Nevis, Lochaber High School won in the end, narrowly beating Morgan Academy in Dundee.


Volunteers required to help with PCR testing

Volunteers are needed to help provide and expand PCR testing in several locations across the NHS Highland region, including Tarbert and Lochgilphead.

Volunteers will be co-ordinated by the British Red Cross. Training will be provided in conjunction with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service which provides PCR testing at locations across NHS Highland.

As well as Tarbert and Lochgilphead, the Argyll and Bute locations where volunteers are required include Cove, Dunoon and Rothesay.

In the Highland Council area, volunteers are required in Broadford, Portree, Ullapool, Kingussie and Granton on Spey.

If you live in or near one of these locations and want to support the testing programme, visit volunteer.redcross.org.uk and type the location name into the search bar for more information.


Corncrake numbers continue to decline

Corncrake numbers in Scotland are continuing to decline, the latest Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Scotland survey has revealed, including Argyll’s population.

In 2021, just 850 calling males were recorded across the 16 areas in the country where these elusive birds are found, down from 870 in 2019.

It continues a downward trend since the record high of 1,289 calling males in 2014.

There are regional differences, however. In the Inner Hebrides, the population has plummeted by 12.2 per cent from 2019 but in the Outer Hebrides numbers are up by 9.9 per cent.

On Islay, the number of calling males recorded fell from 75 in 2017 to 26 in 2021, while on Colonsay and Oronsay the corresponding numbers were 36 in 2017 and 23 birds in 2021.

Mull had none recorded in 2021, but Iona saw numbers increase by four to 19 between 2017 and 2021.

Jane Shadforth, project manager for RSPB Scotland’s Corncrake Calling project, said: ‘RSPB Scotland will use these results to help target management for corncrakes in the right places, working with farmers and crofters through Corncrake Calling and to make best use of the Agri-Environment-Climate scheme.

‘The importance of island communities in protecting this magical species cannot be underestimated.’

Due to their shy character, corncrakes are surveyed by counting the number of males making the distinctive ‘crex crex’ call during breeding season.


The view from Glenbarr Primary School has been voted one of the best in Scotland. NO_c01glenbarr01

Volunteers are required to assist with PCR testing at Tarbert Fire Station. NO_c01tarbertfirestation01

Corncrake numbers in Scotland are continuing to decline. Photograph: RSPB. NO_c01corncrake01