Nix's News

Activities at Tigh Mor

It's back to the adult bushcraft sessions at Tigh Mor every Thursday until the end of September and it was perfect weather with lovely company.

Loch Achray opposite Tigh Mor, what a lovely view this wee willow tree and Devil's bit scabious has.

The bat walk is still proving popular, especially as the daylight hours are shorter which means we can enjoy the bats and get to bed at a normal hour.  The mist rolled in over the loch which made watching the water bats all the more special as they magically appeared out of the mist to circle close to the water's edge. We even had a couple of tawny owls screeching at us on the way back :-). 

Activities at Forest Hills

Morning Stroll

We had a fabulous day, all starting off following Arthur from Trossachs Treks on his morning stroll so that we were ready to cover his walks there for the next two weeks while he is on holiday.  We some lovely people including a family from Deli who were kind enough to share some local plant uses, basil tea is a must apparantly!

Can you spot the third fish?

Then we met a lovely family on our Bushcraft walk, who were really refreshingly passionate, about everything really :-). They were especially interested in our Douglas fir tea and a recipe for Douglas fir chocolate pots for their new cafe 'The Black Douglas' - it's got to be done! Here is the recipe from The Forager's Kitchen by Fiona Bird.

Douglas Fir Chocolate Pots

What to forage and find:
Sprig Douglas fir, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 inches (6-8 cm) in length, washed and dried
1 1/2 cups (300ml) light (single) cream
7 oz (200g) bittersweet (dark) chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
1 medium (small UK) egg
2 teaspoons Douglas Fir syrup (or pine sugar)

What to do:
1. Put the Douglas fir sprig and cream into a pan and scald it over a low heat. Do not allow the cream to boil. Set aside for an hour to allow the flavor to infuse and then remove the sprig.

2. Put the chocolate into a food processor and pulse to break it into small pieces. Take care: the machine may need to be held in place.

3. Reheat the cream (do not allow it to boil). Slowly pour the hot cream into the food processor and pulse, ensuring that the chocolate doesn't overflow down the sides of the machine. If you don't chop the chocolate first,  it may do this. So slowly does it.

4. Add the egg to the hot chocolate cream, blend and then add the Douglas fir syrup or pine sugar. Pour into pots and refrigerate until set.

Bat Walk

Then the day finished off nicely on our Bat Walk, out under the magic light of another supermoon.  Here is Jonathan the bat about to reveal himself again - the moon reveals us for what we really are!

Activities at Forest Hills

Here are this week's lovely wands.

From left: Masie chose an interesting shaped Hawthorn wand, Harry chose Hazel and Louie's Mum chose a Hazel for him to grow into, he was giggling away in the pushchair :-).

Lots of people eager to learn about bushcraft, I think most enjoyed the Douglas Fur tea. Then despite the wind we managed to find a few bats under the Oak and Douglas Fur trees later on.  Here is Richard the bat, he didn't mind the wind, he nearly took off!


Activities at Cobleland Campsite

Activities are getting quieter now, but still lovely to see returning families to the site.  One particular family did the Bushcraft with us and already knew lots of wild foods and bushcraft tips, hurrah!

So, can you use 'old man's beard' as a cure for baldness? Stick to using it for fire lighting I think!!

Lots of people still making the wands and wanting to learn some magick.

There were eleven wand makers, here's just three of them, from left: George, Rory and Eva, everyone chose Hazel this week.

The bat walk was fun as ever, here is Colin about to charge the moths!  It's starting to get chilly at night now but the bats were in the warmth and shelter of the forest nicely scoffing away on insects.


Activities at Forest Hills

Another busy wand session, I think the silly season has finally caught up with me though as I tried to tell the kids to 'ONLY do naughty or mischievous spells', oops!! I did correct myself, phew, we don't want the spells back-firing three-fold eh!


All chose hazel today, from left: Lydia, Harvey, Beatrice, Jasmine, Nate, Emma, Annabel, Connor, Morgan, Amy and Isla.

Bushcraft & Survival was a successful one for the young fire lighters and there was a lovely crowd of 30 on the bat walk, which means good news for the bats as this can only mean that people are fascinated by them like us :-). Steven the bat was great at using his hand wings to eat up all the midges during the bat and moth game, he didn't know what he was letting himself in for, although Will didn't give him much choice when it came to asking for volunteers!


Activities at Cobleland Campsite

A bit quieter here on the campsite as some of the kids are starting to go back to school.  The girls obviously wanted to have their own session as randomly we had three boys then three girls straight after having arrived late after a trip to Blair Drummond.


From left: Cayden, Robbie, Edward, all chosing ash wands

From left: Emily and Ailee's ash and Abbie's hazel wands, together with their magick scrolls reminding them how to make their own spells.

Bat Walk

Lovely big crowd and Stuart the bat was spectacular at demonstrating echo location, although the moths were too busy giggling and forgot that they had actually been eaten by Stuart during the bat and moth game!


Activities at Cobleland Campsite

Another busy weekday here at Cobleland with lots on the Chocolate Quest, Bushcraft & Survival, the Dusk Walk and another mega wand making session!


All chose hazel, except Timmy who chose willow - loads of Aiden's :-)

From left: Sandra, Melissa, Jordan, Aiden, Scarlett, Lucy, Connie, Natalie, Aiden, Oli, Timmy, Aiden, Dawn and Fiona.

Wacky Forth Races


From Left:

Chloe - Chloe's Plane

Abigail - Dusty (2nd)

Emily - LM (1st)

Tyler - The Mean Machine

Malcolm - HMS Maltopia

Roman - Lightening (3rd)

Kaylah & Mason - Mason

Jordan & Haiden - The Rust Bucket

Activities at Forest Hills

Magick Wands

I'm loving that the wand sessions are fully booked lately - more magick makers spreading good spells around :-).

Everyone chose hazel for their wands except Erin, who chose willow

From left: Inigo, Toli, Joseph, Erin, Ailsa, Connie, Grace, Amber, Francesca, Georgina, Mia and Joseph. Stella and Josephs Dad's wand wasn't pictured, sorry.

Face Painting

Erin stayed for an Ice-Queen face, then Anna had some party balloons on her arm, Evie a unicorn and Ailsa a butterfly, all very pretty.

Bushcraft & Survival

We survived on this one but alas, the rain was all a bit too much for the bats, so we had to cancel :-(.


Activities at Cobleland Campsite

This week's Chocolate Hunt was all about the Moon being that there is another Supermoon tomorrow, then we were off for a Bushcraft & Survival session with four pesky lads fascinated with fire. Luckily their Mum's were keeping them in check, although I'm sure they won't be thanking us as the kids will now be nagging them for a fire steel.

Magick Wands

Fourteen lovely wands today made from Willow and Hazel.  Morvin was back again, so here's her new willow wand, this time with a water faerie burnt into the wand to help her with her spells.




Activities at Cobleland Campsite

A busy day again starting with a Chocolate Quest about insects, then four pesky, giggly lads on Bushcraft and Survival with a real fascination for fire.

Magick Wands

Ten magick makers in the tent, here's Morvin Willow wand, complete with a sylph or faerie of the air.


Wacky Forth Races

Five wacky rafts for the race and this week they all crossed the line :-)!


From left: 

Alfie & Masie - The Black Pearl Nae Encatchable (5th)

Dougie - The DJ (3rd)

Meaghan & Imogen - The Cobleland Raft (2nd)

Morvin - Fairy (4th)

Seth - Trouble! (1st)

Dusk Watch

It was a particularly spooky dusk watch as it seemed to get dark really fast! This was good though as it meant that we could play the night vision game to see if anyone could guess the colour of the crayon before we blew the night vision in one of our eyes to see the difference in how our eyes work in the dark. Morvin just about stayed awake, but she really enjoyed it :-).