50 years of adventure and life-changing experiences in beautiful isolation, 1969 – 2019

Oystercatchers return early

Tinker on the look out for low flying oystercatchers

The start of a new year at Ardmore

Oystercatchers return early

And thoughts turn to this coming summer

Friday February 7th 2014

Commonly at Ardmore, and in many other places along the coast, birds start to reappear and establish sites in time for Valentines Day. Sure enough the oystercatchers have returned, albeit a week early, bringing a bit more noise and life to the shoreline here and the promise of spring ‘renewal’.

Whilst the Cairngorms and Glencoe have received bumper snowfall, we have at best, a heavy-handed dusting of snow above 600m on the mountains. And whilst the south is beset with heavy rain and flooding, it’s been unseasonably dry for us here.

Along with the stunning winter views, an unexpected benefit of the dry and mild weather has been the opportunity to crack on with some routine maintenance work across at the Adventure School in preparation for Summer Season 2014.

We now have our instructor team in place for the summer, with some familiar seasonal faces returning to help with the busiest weeks. Hazel and Heulwen who cooked for us, in 2011/2012 and last year respectively, will be back at the catering helm for half the season each.

This summer we’ll see Michael Hall Steiner School (Sussex) join us for the first time at the end of June and Highfield School (Hampshire) will be here with the unstoppable Mr Hesselmann, for their twelfth year, along with many other returning Prep Schools from all over the UK.

Over the last few weeks Mark has been working with York House School (Hertfordshire), who come with their Year 8 Leavers each summer, developing outdoor learning within the school and their beautiful mature parkland.

The 14 day Expedition Summer Camp and 6 Day Adventure Summer camp are over half full already and we are putting the finishing touches to the 10 day Young Leaders Summer Camp, for young people with prior experiences here in the mountains and on the sea, to step up to a new level of challenge.

So it looks like a busy and exciting season ahead. No doubt they’ll be more winter storms to follow between now and then, but with today’s low winter sun and returning birdsong, it doesn’t seem too far away.