Did you know Soay Sheep don’t need sheared?


Soay Sheep are a hardy breed from the St Kilda Archipelago to the far north-west of Scotland.


Their coat is a mix of wool and hair and so is naturally shed every summer and regrown to protect them from winds, rain and snow in winter – some of the ranger team have taken up needle felting and make sheep sculptures from the Soays wool!

Soay sheep are listed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust as Category 4: At Risk due to only having around 1000 registered breeding ewes – Kelburn Estate is home to 8 wethers (castrated males) named Dougal, Finlay, Fraser, Fergus, Gordon, Gregor, Graham and Glen.

The last humans to permanently live on St Kilda self-evacuated in November 1930; two years later 107 Soay Sheep were introduced to the island, the population now numbers over 1000s feral sheep.


Needle Felt Sheep


Aquilegia vulgaris – Common Columbine


Columbine flowers are said to resemble pigeons or doves drinking from a water fountain – can you see it?


The name Columbine comes from the scientific name for the Pigeon family: Columbidae but the flowers scientific name Aquilegia comes from the Latin for eagle – as the flowers are also said to resemble eagles talons!


Common Columbine are native the the UK, like full or partial sun and flower in spring and summer – another name for them is Granny’s Bonnet or Granny’s Nightcap.


The Bridge has been completed!


The ranger and maintenance team have worked through sun, showers, and clouds of midges to finish the Bridge on the Short Nature Trail!


This was a difficult task for the team as the bridge was nearly inaccessible to vehicles and had to be completely rebuilt.


The only vehicle able to make it down was the digger, so all of the ballast, cement, buckets, spades, wood, and tools including a cement mixer and a generator had to be carried or wheelbarrowed along the trail.


Luckily the digger managed to carry down the two 10.5m long iron girders!


Great Tit





The first fledglings of 2022 have appeared: Great Tit – Parus major & Robin – Erithacus rubecula.


The chicks have left the safety of the nest: they are now out in the big wide world.


The parent birds will continue to look after their fledged chicks for a while longer but soon enough the fledglings will be on their own – hopefully they find their way to the bird feeders in the Wildlife Garden by The Witch’s Cottage.