The Deer is Back! UK Travel is Back! Welcome Back!

The people of the National Park + Strathspey are extending you their welcome at #CairngormsTogether!  See my previous BloG about community confidence in reopening.

For now, firstly, the most recent news on where we’re at with the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions for self-catering accommodation (as at 14/4/21):

Household Rules (for self-catering)

  • From 26th April – Single household rule applies
  • From 17th May – 4 people from 2 households (excluding children aged 12 years and under).  (This is in line with Scottish Govt easing of restrictions and is subject to final confirmation)

Travel Rules

  • From 26th April – Travel between England, Wales and Scotland will be allowed (the situation for Northern Ireland to be kept under review).
  • From 26th April – All of Scotland, now including islands, will move to Level 3 and all travel restrictions within Scotland lifted.

Protection Levels

  • Details of the revised protection levels can be found here
  • An easy to follow pdf is here
  • The outline timetable is:  Level 3 on 26th April / Level 2 from 17th May / Level 1 from early June / Level 0 from late June.

Our Deer Friend + Our Reawakening!

Almost as if it knew we had been missing our visitors, our deer friend had returned within 24 hours of the gates being opened up in preparation for the return of guests!  Unusually, I caught a decent photo.  As you can see, though, snow also unexpectedly returned for a week, as if it knew we are not quite there yet……. so, chill out!

Although always magnificent (when you can see them!), the Cairngorms look totally amazing now as we are not used to seeing full snow cover into “spring”, with pink sunsets reflecting off their slopes well into the evening.  Unfortunately, my usual camera skills apply and I took nothing to do that justice!  Already it’s not completely dark until well after 9pm.

However, around the village and the cottage, there are increasingly signs that spring is springing into action, and that the part of our natural world, which does sleep off the winter, is reawakening.   And, although they might have put the brakes on over the last week, the Birches, Rowans, Heathers and other plants are starting to green with confidence that the last of the snow and ice at village level has passed.

I caught 2 Woodpeckers flirting in the garden this morning, there are ducks and other water birds pairing off down at the River Spey, and I saw 2 resident Rooks escorting a Red Kite off the premises!  I’ve not spotted any of the smaller mammals out and about yet (red squirrels, otters, etc).  The exception is one of our bat family (see another BloG below as to where they live at the cottage).  It was clearly a single brave / short-straw one sent out to check out whether it was worth emerging yet.  It flew about closeby for about 5 mins (I guess seeing if there were enough insects available for the whole hungry colony), before sticking it’s finger in the air and going “Nah!  Minus 6ºC tonight” and heading back to the warmth!!

But like us, and the local communities now ready to welcome people back, they know that it’s not long now…………….

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