Ben Nevis Survey Day 2

Today was the first day out on the hill with the team putting into practice the information that we had learnt yesterday. The first job was carrying the rope up to the CIC hut, all 6 of them and at 400m each we shared the load between 2 of us (on another day it is getting them to the summit).

After a quick tea and plan of action devised in the CIC hut we set off with a botanist to look at the important plants that we would need to know for the survey next week.  And there are quite a few, mostly small, that look like a lot of other plants.  But slowly we are getting the names and intricacies into our heads and getting used to using the FeildMove Clino made by Midland Valley.

On the short walk that we took from the hut with Ian to the base of Carn Dearg buttress we saw 2 of our nationally scarce species (it is only found in less than 100 of the 10km squared areas which botanically divide up the UK) that make the North Face of Ben Nevis a SSSI, Russet Sedge and Sibbaldia.  We also tried to identify indicator species that might mean the mineral content of the soil is richer, which means that one of our rare species might grow there.

A very interesting day all round and I will never look at a damp, wet rocky ledge in the same way again.

More photos on my facebook page.

This project is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund and The Highland Council.  It is also sponsored by Mammut.

Sibbaldia, finger for scale

Sibbaldia, finger for scale

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