Aigas Field Centre
Aigas Field Centre

A Ramble on Raasay

28 August, 2019. Posted by Aigas Field Centre

What can Aigas rangers get up to with one day off? Explore and adventure!

While we see a lot of the Highlands during our Aigas weeks, there are always more pockets to discover and with one day off together, myself and ranger Michelle decided to fit in an island adventure. I have never really been to Skye so wanted to have a look in that direction but, wishing to avoid any crowds, we chose the smaller island of Raasay as our destination.

The issue was that to get there and back in a day didn’t leave much time on the island at all so we chose to travel towards the west coast after finishing work at Aigas, camp there and get an early ferry to Raasay. Easy! Apart from the fact that we finished work at about 10:30pm, after a very tiring (but brilliant) ceilidh… No problem, us rangers are hardy folk.

A fine spot to pitch a tent; Ranger Richard in Glen Shiel. (Michelle Branson)

We pitched our tent up in Glen Shiel around 2am and, after a quick game of cards, settled down for some much needed shut-eye. We rose early and hastily packed up our tent, dosed ourselves with some caffeine and headed off towards Sconser on Skye to catch the ferry to Raasay.

Michelle and Richard set sail for the island of Raasay.

Wildlife wise we were not sure what to hope for. We knew that otters lived in the area and eagles could be seen from Skye but the day was looking to be very miserable weather-wise so it could be rather disappointing. But as we pulled up onto the ferry Michelle gave the cry of “Otter!” and we screeched to a halt as an otter did indeed swim along past the ferry. Running up onto the deck after boarding we saw a second otter, some black guillemots and had a very close pass from a gannet – not so disappointing after all!

Words by Richard Thompson.