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Caithness broch to get spring clean

By David G Scott

Caithness Countryside Volunteers (CCV) will be working with Caithness Broch Project on Sunday, April 7, to help protect the Achvarasdal broch and improve access to it.

The broch has become overgrown with giant hogweed so the team hope to lay down three layers of geo-textile and chippings to inhibit future growth and providing better visitor access.

An aerial shot of Achvarasdal broch by Chris Sinclair.
An aerial shot of Achvarasdal broch by Chris Sinclair.

Large machinery cannot be used on the structure as it would damage the archaeology, so the chippings must be barrowed in and spread by hand.

A CCV spokesperson said: "Giant hogweed is a certified weed and can be harmful if handled incorrectly.

"Its spread through the forest site is an ongoing concern and April is the ideal time of year to sever the roots of the young plants to prevent them getting to flowering age.

"It may be that some of you would prefer the lighter spade work to barrowing and we could tackle this.It would require long sleeves, long trousers and gloves and we can go over the safe way to do this with you on the day."

Some over hanging branches are hoped to be removed on the access route which would offer another lighter job to do.

Caithness Countryside Volunteers will be at Achvarasdale this weekend.
Caithness Countryside Volunteers will be at Achvarasdale this weekend.

All interested should arrive by 10.30am on Sunday at the old Achvarasdal nursing home car park.

Dress with covered arms and legs if you wish to tackle the young hogweeds.

"As usual we will provide some tools and gloves but bring your own if you wish – especially wheelbarrows, as we have only one of these.

"The work will stop for tea and biscuits at 12.30pm and new volunteers are always welcome but over-18s only, please."

n Caithness Countryside Volunteers, Achvarasdal Broch, Sunday, April 7 – Help with habitat improvement work on World Health Day. Volunteers will we be working in collaboration with Caithness Broch Project to improve access to archaeology on site. This is a drop-in event and participants must be prepared for working in the outdoors, with sturdy footwear and waterproof clothing. Gloves, tools and refreshments provided. 10.30am-12.30pm. Contact: kirsty.rosie@highlifehighland.com

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