Short Botanical Course

Dates: 8th - 10th July 2020

Wild CarrotScarlet PimpernelBugloss

This new trip concentrates on the diversity of plants found in the varied habitats of Uist; from the machair and dunes to moorland and freshwater lochs. The course lasts for 3 days although you may join for as many as you wish. You'll be supplied with a list of likely plants and the habitat they can be found in. There'll be plenty of time to take photos and making notes for future refence so it's certainly worth bringing a notebook along. The pace is relaxed with an emphasis on enjoying what there is to be found. It's suitable for beginners as well as those wanting to expand their knowledge beyond flowering plants and into some of the grasses, sedges and water plants.

Day 1: Berneray and Clachan Sands: We'll explore the machair to the north of Loch Bhrusda where we'll find an excellent variety of flowering plants amongst the cropped and fallow patches here. We'll continue across to the mature dunes and dune slacks where we'll find a different selection of plants including various orchids and good numbers of Adder's-tongue Fern. In the afternoon we'll call in at Clachan Sands and take a short walk to another low-lying area where we'll find a mixture of both acidic-loving and alkaline plants mixed in together. We'll also make time during the 3 days to have a look for Moonwort that can sometimes be found on our croft at Claddach Baleshare.

Fragrant OrchidGreater SundewLesser Waterplantain

Day 2: Stoneybridge, Howmore and Druidibeg: Another varied selection of habitats starting on the coast at Stoneybridge where a healthy population of Lesser Butterfly Orchids can be found along side Heath Spotted Orchids and possibly Fragrant Orchid which was recently discovered here. The machair nearby and at Howmore has an excellent selection of typical flowering plants found in both crop and fallow areas which will be a nice contrast before we continue on to Druidibeg. A roadside stop at a small loch will produce the scarce Lesser Water Plantain whilst Water Lobelia and the rare Slender Naiad can also be found here. A little further on we'll venture onto the moorland where plants should include Greater Sundew, Pale Butterwort and Lesser Twayblade amongst many others.

Kidney VetchLesser Butterfly OrchidRagged Robin

Day 3: Loch Paible, Paiblesgarry and North Uist moorland: On the last day we'll undoubetdly be seeing some of the same species that we came across during the last couple of days which is great for refreshing the memory but we'll also add a few new species to the list. Around the shore we'll find sea-spurreys as well as glasswort and possibly Sea Holly which we found growing nearby in 2019. The nearby machair is rich in flowering plants including Rue-leaved Saxifrage, Sea Mouse-ear and Wild Carrot. A trip onto the moorland will produce various carnivorous plants and the incarnata and possibly pulchella sub-species of Early Marsh Orchid.

Dates: 8th - 10th July 2020

Cost: £20 per day.

Group size: maximum of 12

Booking: Please email me at: to confirm if you wish to join the botanical course; the number of days you want to come along and which dates.

Where to meet: A suitable meeting place will be arranged for each day but please share lifts where-ever you can.