Lovely quiet but cold morning with the Cullin looking close today and bonny with her snow cap.
February is going to see an influx of post grad students from around the world who are going to carry out a study in Applecross. Alison saw a request from CES that the university were looking for field studies in this area but Knoydart were quicker of the mark and they went there last year and now it is our turn. They will be staying at the Clachan Manse and Brambles and hopefully they will feel welcomed by the community. Almost as important as the work they will do for us. Co-ordinating with Community Energy Scotland and Applecross Community Company they are going to carry out field research to assess Sustainable Energy Development Opportunities. The group consists of twelve students and three professors from the Energy an Environmental Management Master Programme at the University of Flensburg, Germany. Looking at the group that are coming over it is going to be a multi cultural event for Applecross. The students are from Africa, Asia, and Latin America learning current topics such as environmental management, renewable energy and project management and energy efficiency. Ghana, Nepal, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Iran are but a few of the countries who are going to visit. The International Class” is intended to give the students an opportunity to collaborate and work in the field with a community. After five weeks of work the study results will be presented to the community. Having just seen the programme of what they are going to look at it appears to be very practical and not just an an exercise in academia. Suggesting energy efficiency alternatives for households, the environmental impact and the cost of implementing the measures. Energy supply from renewable sources and an environmentally friendly transport system.
This is a continuation of the work being done by AEE is raising awareness of our carbon footprint and at the same time maybe improving people’s standard of living by reducing their energy bills. www.facebook.com/ApplecrossEnergyEfficiency There a number of conversions to wood burning over the last wee while as evidenced by the increasing number of wood shed being erected around the community. As well as burning wood there have little courses explaining the science of drying the wood to get the optimum energy from the fuel. This has been the push behind getting a wood fuel supply set up locally as it ensures a supply for the wood stoves. The 300 tons from the Gateway woodland is looking smaller and smaller by the month. The idea behind the wood fuel chain is to persuade even more people to change to a better system but will need a consistent supply. This does not touch existing supplies but the demand could possibly encourage some employment. Recently been looking at some photos of Colin Parson’s in Achmore, using old ways with new technology. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Colin-Parsons-ForestryHorse-Logging/610273509040324We have tried to go down the greener road, air source heat pump
and burning more wood
and are looking forward to seeing how the students look at older,harder to insulate houses to see if they can be improved. One of my few influences on the ALPS programme was suggesting air source heat pumps to be installed at Clachan Church and it was good to hear a few comments as to how it was not as cold as it used to be at Norman’s funeral. I do fancy some solar thermal panels this summer to use on our water heating system, like the one fitted on the Public Toilets.
We already have a source of community transport if only we were allowed to use it, very frustrating.
It was interesting to see a woodland being worked such as Sleat, a felling programme, wood fuel for local consumption and the community benefiting from the profits. Lessons to be learnt across Scotland.
Cracking shift to-day, expecting it to be really quiet until the Lochcarron guys came over in the afternoon but from 12 noon onwards it was pretty nippy. Mainly because of a visit from Elgol in the shape of Alastair “Elgol”, fisherman extraordinaire and now moving into the chartering business. The slightly weird thing was that I was talking to Ewen about Alastair last night and out of the blue he turns up not having seen him for about ten or so years. Good to catch up as we have a little history. I first bumped into him working on the Achmore to Auchtertyre road, then Kishorn was the next meeting and then the most important as I bought a 32 foot Cygnus fishing boat off him, the Emma Goody. Swapped a few stories and memories and shared a tale of a decline of a valuable fishery. The weather has hit them bad on the west side of Skye, he was out one day in the whole of December. So with Alastair and Mark having a couple of pints, chatting in front of me, there were quite a few customers coming and going, so the multi tasking skills were called into action. Turns out that Mark has been in Elgol for two or three years and is working with Ian from Rum and Hebnet to get his internet improved as his animation photographic business depends on good connections. https://www.facebook.comthecuillincollective Interesting to me that going from half a meg up to six is obviously a huge improvement where as some moving here coming from twenty and having to deal with six would be disappointing. Every thing has different perceptions. Same with hot water coming to the Public toilets, accepted as the norm everywhere else but here it is a huge improvement, mind you that goes for the rest of the building as well. Music kicked in at 3.00pm and after a plate of plaice and chips it was home by six.