The death of Lawrence MacEwen of the tiny Hebridean island of Muck leaves a void as gaping as a crevasse. Muck has been in the MacEwen family since 1896. For the past 40 years, Lawrence and his wife Jenny and their family have kept this fertile island with its thriving livestock farm and ethos of self-sufficiency, afloat. As a result, Muck is held aloft as an example of a functioning remote rural community – progressive and innovative. ‘I believe in evolution, not revolution,’ Lawrence stated. His unique brand of benevolent paternalism was proof of its success.Continue reading “Lawrence MacEwen Obituary”
For the launch of my latest book, A Scurry of Squirrels, we decided to do an interview featuring one of the squirrel kits in my care. Who better to interview me than my good friend Mark Stephen of Radio Scotland’s popular Out of Doors programme – also a fellow fan of the red squirrel. However, with a squirrel you never know what might happen next!
Red deer love to wallow, so we decided to make a wallowing place for our red deer calf Cloudy in our field but we didn’t expect such a wonderful instant reaction. As we dug and the wallow got bigger, her sheer delight and antics gave us the best antidote to #lockdown angst imaginable! If anyone doubts that animals experience joy – then watch this, it’s guaranteed to cheer you up! Polly’s Antidote to Gloom!
Mallaig’s Book Festival at The West Highland Hotel, Mallaig
In 2016 Polly became the co-founder of A Write Highland Hoolie, Mallaig’s Book Festival.
Sadly like almost all other events we had to cancel 2020’s event but all being well we look forward to another fabulous line-up of authors as well as great food and music over the weekend of 12th-14th November 2021. In 2019 we were thrilled to expand our events into both the local primary and High Schools and to work once again with Fort William’s superb independent Highland Bookshop. More exciting dedicated children’s events are planned for 2021 as we firmly believe that helping forge a love of reading is one of the best things we can do for the younger generation. As before, all the main events will take place in the comfort of the West Highland Hotel from where on fine days – and yes there are plenty, a fabulous panorama unfolds on Rum, Eigg, Muck, and the jagged outline of the Cuillins of Skye. Whatever our fickle climate brings us, we guarantee that our Hoolie will be a joyous weekend celebration of books, music, fine food, and great craic, for this is what sets us apart.
Don’t miss updates about our unique event: sign up for our newsletter on our website. A Write Highland Hoolie is the book festival with a difference.
This article first appeared in Scotland: the Big Picture. Read the full article (with more images) here.
It’s January, the season when a fox’s hormones fuel the urge to breed. At night I lie in bed and hear their eerie yattering as they wander on their nocturnal forays, their soundtrack accompanied by tawny owls – they too are preparing for breeding. The wood is also thick with the aroma of red deer. My son Freddy and I are following a lattice of worn tracks made as the deer trek up and down in the gloaming, to the richer pickings in the fields below. Now that the bracken has died away, and before the new growth, it’s perfect for exploration. Continue reading “The Child in Nature – an Endangered Species”
I’ve contributed to this story about the resurgence of Pine Martens at Scotland Big Picture, along with photography by Peter Cairns, Mark Hamblin and James Shooter.
‘Despite centuries of persecution and habitat loss, pine martens have proven themselves to be survivors, and as they expand their range, they’re revealing some surprising secrets.’
Polly Pullar, is also an experienced wildlife rehabilitator. When she was handed three young red squirrels just days old, she thought their chances of survival were slim.
This is the story of the emotional rollercoaster that followed.