Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Bat Survey

A survey of bats in the stables building was carried out in September 2009 and indicated that there is a number of bats roosting in the roof and numbers suggest that these are non-maternity roosts. Common and soprano pipistrelles, brown long-eared bats, and Natterers were all identified, although numbers were small.

It is hoped to commence bat walks during the summer months.

Pipistrelles are the commonest British bats, weighing around 5 grams (less than a £1 coin). A single pipistrelle can eat 3,000 tiny insects in just one night!
The common and soprano pipistrelle were only identified as separate species in the 1990s and look very similar. The easiest way to tell them apart is from the frequency of their echolocation calls (sounds produced by common pipistrelles are above the range of human hearing with the exception of social calls that may be heard by children and some adults with good hearing).

Common pipistrelles feed in a wide range of habitats comprising woodland, hedgerows, grassland, farmland, suburban and also urban areas. They generally emerge from their roost around 20 minutes after sunset and fly 2-10m above ground level searching for their insect prey, which they catch and eat on the wing by ‘aerial hawking’.

Soprano pipistrelles usually feed in wetland habitats, for example over lakes and rivers, and also around woodland edge, tree lines or hedgerows, and in suburban gardens and parks.
They generally emerge from their roost around 20 minutes after sunset and fly 2-10m above ground level searching for their insect prey, which they catch and eat on the wing by ‘aerial hawking’. Soprano pipistrelles appear to be more selective in their habitat use than the more generalist common pipistrelle and feed mainly on small flies, particularly midges and mosquitoes that are associated with water.

Populations of pipistrelles have declined dramatically in the last few decades. This is at least partly as a result of modern agricultural practices, although common pipistrelle populations have started showing signs of recovery in recent years. Their reliance on buildings for roosting makes them vulnerable to building renovations, exclusion and toxic remedial timber treatment chemicals.

Brown long-eared bats are medium-sized. The ears are nearly as long as the body but not always obvious: when at rest they curl their ears back like rams’ horns, or tuck them away completely under their wings leaving only the pointed inner lobe of the ear (the tragus) visible.

As well as catching insects in free flight, brown long-eared bats are gleaners, often flying slowly amongst foliage, picking insects off leaves and bark. Their broad wings and tail allow slow, highly manoeuvrable, hovering flight .Sometimes they land on the ground to catch insects or to shift them into a controllable position in the mouth, and they are even able to take insects from lighted windows. Their flight often includes steep dives and short glides.

These bats are known as ‘whispering bats’ because their echolocation sounds are very quiet. They have particularly sensitive low frequency hearing and often locate prey from the sounds made by the insect’s own movements. They may sometimes use vision. Small prey is eaten in flight, but larger insects are taken to a ‘perch’.

Brown long-eared bats prefer to hibernate at very cold temperatures, often just above freezing point. Like the pipistrelles, it has declined in Britain due to changing land use, including modern intensive agricultural practices, and the conversion of barns which have resulted in the loss of suitable feeding and roosting habitats. It is particularly susceptible to pesticides, especially their use in roofs where it often roosts on exposed timbers.

Natterer's bat is a medium-sized European bat with pale wings. It has brown fur, also seen on the leg wing membrane, tending to white on its underside. It is found across most of the continent, but is considered scarce. It usually forages around trees and other vegetation, often gleaning insects from the surface of foliage. In the summer months it often roosts in old buildings with timber beams including buildings and barns. It mainly eats small flies, small moths, caddis flies, lacewings, beetles and spiders.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Woodturning Workshop

Learn basic woodturning skills at Cambo Estate with Jon Warnes We will be working in the new woodturning workshop and using timber grown on the estate. Students will be introduced to wood selection and preparation, methods of work holding on the lathe, safe use and selection of tools and a range of sharpening techniques. Students will be able to have a go at a range of simple projects and take home completed items. No previous experience is needed but hurry to book as places are very limited. Sessions run from 10.30 am to 12.30 and 1.30 – 3.30 pm every Thursday. Call 01333 450054 to book

Carpentry at Cambo

Would you like to learn basic carpentry skills? Using hand tools we will work on different projects starting with Adirondack chairs. These comfortable and stylish chairs look great and are easy to make. If we have time, we will move on to other projects such as bench making, carving and shed making. No previous experience is needed and you will be introduced to hand skills such as sawing, measuring and sharpening which you can use at home on your own projects. We will be working in the Joiner’s Shop at the old Sawmill with its recently installed solar lighting. There is no charge for this course. We meet every Tuesday 10am. To book a place call 01333 450054. Tutor Jon Warnes has been working with wood for over 20 years. He is particularly interested in working with “green” (recently cut) wood as it is beautiful to turn and produces minimal dust. He has been making indoor and outdoor furniture to commission and also carves spoons.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Glingbobs and Tootflints

What a great day out for our guests from Homestart and Families First. Everyone looks like they had great fun joining in with storytelling, crafty workshops, marshmallow toasting, exploring the woods and searching for new homes for all the Glingbobs and Tootflints.
Created with flickr slideshow.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Cambo Canter

Sunday 29 September
The Cambo Canter - our first Fun run! 
What a great day. The sun even shone for the 60 runners that participated. Well done everyone.  Not forgetting all the supporters and helpers who turned up to cheer everyone on.
Keep an eye on our events list for more fun things to do.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Cambo Canter
Exciting, Scenic, Multi-terrain Fun Run for all the Family

Cambo Institute, with some advice and help from Fife AC members, have organised a Fun Run for all the Family on Sunday 29 September.  The 2k and 5k routes will take runners on a ‘scenic, multi-terrain’ route round Cambo Estate taking in little known curiosities such as the ‘iron-spring’, a unique water feature in the rocks, and the ‘bundle beech’ (a tree which seemingly grows out of the rock), both to be seen from the new disabled access path alongside the burn, the Skyrian foals, who may want to join in the race, the Cambo pigs, woodlands, gardens and even a glimpse of the sea.  Covering the estate, the course will be a real multi-terrain challenge taking in traditional woodland paths, tracks and field.

The races are open to all, providing the opportunity for all the family to take part.  Entry for adults will be £3.00 and for children (under 16) £1.50.  Registration will take place on the day at Cambo House from 10.00am to 10.50am, with the 2k race starting at 11.00am and the 5k at 11.30am.  Both races will finish at Cambo Stables where refreshments will be served.

Friday, 23 August 2013

A Great Review From The Telegraph

Scotland's most magical walled gardens

Gardens north of the border are just reaching their peak. Vanessa Berridge scouts five of Scotland's walled gardens and finds a wealth of beauty and history.

Mount Stuart’s formal style
Top spot: Mount Stuart’s formal style Photo: Andrea Jones
Now is a good time to see many Scottish gardens at their best, when many more southerly plots are looking frazzled. Most Scottish gardeners contend with bracing weather, and need protecting walls. Within these enclosures, however, is immense variety in layout and planting, as shown by these historic gardens.
Edzell Castle in Angus
I visited the walled garden at Edzell Castle in Angus on a day of horizontal rain. Nevertheless, it was hard not to be compelled by the garden's strong, simple outlines and its powerful symbolism. The castle, a craggy ruin for more than 250 years, stands amid farmland, sheltered behind wooded slopes. By some miracle, the mottled sandstone walls survived and Historic Scotland now runs both the garden and castle.
These walls are all that remain of a garden conceived in 1604 by Sir David Lindsay, to demonstrate to Westminster the intellectual sophistication of the Scottish aristocracy after James VI of Scotland's accession to the English throne. Figures carved into the walls personify the liberal arts and the cardinal virtues, while the universe is shown with the Earth at its centre. Family history is celebrated in niches planted with yellow tagetes and blue and white lobelia, the Lindsay colours.
Lindsay's garden had disappeared beneath 19th-century borders, so Historic Scotland reconstructed a 17th-century parterre, framed by knee-high hedges of box. The mottoes of Sir David Lindsay and his wife are spelt out in box around four wedge-shaped beds planted with roses. Chequerboards of box reflect the pattern of the walls, while in triangular corner beds, dwarf box is clipped into two thistles, a rose and a fleur-de-lis to represent the Union of the Crowns in 1603.
Edzell Castle, Edzell, Angus (01356 648631; Open every day, April 1 to September 30, 9.30am-5.30pm.
Kellie Castle in Fife
The Firth of Forth can be glimpsed from Kellie Castle in Fife, a splash of blue beyond its stone walls. The Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer spent his childhood here, his late-19th-century restoration of castle and garden inspiring his subsequent work at Earlshall, Hill of Tarvit and Formakin. To a 17th-century framework he added a central walkway, a summer house and corner gardens, creating a compactly pretty Arts and Crafts garden.
On a central lawn, encircled by a seat, stands an ancient apple tree. From there paths of grass and gravel lead out, flanked by lichened fruit trees and vegetable beds interplanted with flowers. Structure is given by box edging, by yew enclosing a stone bowl carved by Hew Lorimer, by cordons of pears and fan-trained apples, and by kiwis, figs and peaches on the south-facing walls.
Kellie Castle, Pittenweem, Fife (0844 493 2184; Garden open all year, 9.30am-6pm (or dusk if earlier).
  • Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute (main pic, top)
On the other side of Scotland, Mount Stuart, ancestral home of the Bute family, stands on the Isle of Bute, its 18th-century landscape garden and lime tree avenue sloping down to the Clyde. The kitchen garden was built in the 1870s, at the same time as the red sandstone Gothic palace that replaced a Georgian mansion destroyed by fire. Along its south-facing wall are trained plums and damsons above a border of lavenders and sage. It is enclosed on the other three sides by beech hedges; these green walls shelter planting that thrives in the gravelly peat.
The remodelling of the Victorian garden by Rosemary Verey in 1990 was triggered by the 6th Marquess's purchase of a large glass pavilion from the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival. She surrounded it with box beds to echo the pattern of the paths through the adjacent pinetum, with vegetables laid out within in parallel lines. Above the pavilion are two fruit cages in beech hedge compartments, while below are an orchard of apples, pears and cherries, and a simple grass labyrinth.
Tender plants from around the world are grown inside the glass pavilion.
In 2000, James Alexander-Sinclair sensibly softened the garden's harder edges by turning several vegetable beds into herbaceous borders for a bravura August display of chrysanthemums, dahlias, grasses and foliage.
Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute (01700 503877; Open from April to October 31, 10am-6pm.
Cambo Gardens, Fife
By contrast with Mount Stuart's strict geometry, the two-and-a-half-acre walled garden at Cambo in the East Neuk of Fife is a place of mystery, with winding paths and hidden seats. It is given rare charm by its burn, which tumbles headlong to the sea, jumping over waterfalls and beneath the Georgian, rose-clad, wrought-iron bridges that predate the early-1800s garden. The Erskines have owned the estate since 1668, although the house was rebuilt after a fire in 1878. House and garden are separated by woodland, carpeted in February by the snowdrops for which Cambo is famous.
Sir Peter Erskine came to the helm in 1976, and his wife, Catherine, has developed the snowdrop business and transformed the walled garden. Instead of serried rows of dahlias, bedding plants, fruit and vegetables, Catherine and head gardener Elliott Forsyth have created a garden for all seasons, mastering the art of successive flowering, yet with a climax in August and September. Relaxed and naturalistic planting combines the best of modern design with an underlying sense of tradition. A nepeta walk slices through the garden, with alliums, hardy geraniums and roses scrambling over old apple trees. The dazzling ornamental potager is laid out in a flowing mix of vegetables, annuals and perennials.
A new Prairie Garden, with North American species grown at Cambo from seed, links the walled garden to the Georgian stables, soon to be restored with Heritage Lottery funding.
Cambo, St Andrews, Fife (01333 450054; Open daily, 10am-5pm. Free tours every Tuesday, March to October.
Castle of Mey, Caithness
This garden, on the tip of the mainland, faces due north over the Pentland Firth. Salt winds whip in from the sea, yet there is a warm microclimate in this two-acre garden that would not exist were it not shielded by a 15ft wall and tucked into the lee of the castle.
When the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother bought Mey in 1952, the garden was a wilderness, which she reclaimed, paying her last visit only five months before her death. Her favourite place was a south-facing bench in the Shell Garden overlooking rose beds and nasturtiums, growing up like a hedge of colour. She knew the name and place of every plant, and changes were made at the gardeners' peril.
Morning and Chilean glory are trained up inside the greenhouse, while outside a ledge is filled with tubs of trailing lobelia, petunias and helichrysum, and annuals are planted beneath in summer. Honeysuckle, clematis and buddleia clamber over arches, and wall-backed beds are a mass of herbaceous perennials.
Working rather than merely ornamental vegetable beds are rotated on a three to four-yearly basis, and fruit cages are filled with raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and currants. The down-to-earth practicality of this garden belies its royal ownership.
Castle of Mey, Thurso, Caithness (01847 851473; Open from May 1 to September 30, 10am-5pm.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Songs and Plays of Noel Coward

Red Wine Productions Present
Summer Revue - A Talent to AmuseA fantastic first night.  If you missed it you can still get tickets for Wednesday!
A very fun way to raise funds for the institute.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Heritage Lottery Fund awards £1.2m Funding for Cambo Stables Project

Cambo Institute in Fife has been awarded £1.2m by Heritage Lottery Fund towards the creation of an education and training centre at Cambo Estate. The centre will be based at the restored Georgian Stables, and the Glasshouses in the walled garden, giving the buildings a new lease of life and a sustainable future.

The Institute has already embarked on the major task of raising the £1.9m additional funding required to match the grant from Heritage Lottery Fund and to date has pledges and donations for £850,000 from trusts, foundations, legacies, donations from Friends of Cambo and fundraising events.

Established in 1998, the Institute now provides a host of learning and volunteering opportunities in heritage, the environment, arts, culture and horticulture.

The renowned gardens and snowdrop woods, now with a worldwide reputation, are increasingly used to introduce a wide range of art forms to visitors and will host an exciting European premiere of Inuksuit in partnership with East Neuk Festival on Saturday 6 July.

Sir Peter Erskine, Chairman of Cambo Institute, who was delighted to hear of Heritage Lottery Fund’s support for their exciting plans said:

“Our aim at Cambo is not only to enhance the visitor’s experience with arts activities but also to ‘turn the clock back’ on the estate and recreate the opportunities that would have been available to local people in the community 100 years ago, providing training, apprenticeships and supported employment.

The Cambo Stables Project will create an education and visitor hub with the facilities to expand current activities, safeguard public access and involvement for the future and provide an income to ensure its sustainable future”

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:
“Our heritage offers a rich resource for skills and education so HLF is delighted to support Cambo Estate where it is being used in such an innovative way. The gardens provide powerful and memorable experiences for young people, making learning fun and opening their eyes to the natural heritage which surrounds them. We applaud the commitment of the team at Cambo and are delighted that even more people will now benefit from the work being done.”

Monday, 10 June 2013

Cambo Green Team

Cambo Green Team

We undertake a range of conservation activities on Cambo Estate varying from woodland maintenance and path making through to bench making. We fit in practical skill sessions such as basic carpentry between projects, most recently we completed a Badger watching hide learning basic construction skills in the process. At the moment we are working on a sculpture project for the East Neuk Festival and collecting materials for the workshop session on the 6th July .

We meet every Wednesday afternoon at Cambo Sawmill and a lift is available from St. Andrews. 1.45 – 3.45pm

In July we will move to morning sessions.
Tea /coffee provided. Please some in outdoor working clothes.Jon Warnes  Woodland Educator.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Book Making

Every fancied making your own book?  What a great effort from everyone!

Stone Carving Workshops

Workshops for children and adults.  What an amazing day.  Lots of creative people out there.

New Paths Open

Provost Jim Leishman formally opened a new path in Cambo woods watched by Catherine Erskine, volunteers and children from Kilmaron School who had just enjoyed a workshop in the woods with Jon Warnes. 
Funding from Leader in Fife (part of the new Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) aimed at promoting economic and community development within rural areas) and Fife Environment Trust has enabled Cambo to open up the  woods to the disabled by upgrading a previously inaccessible path by the burn and creating a new one across the drive.  It also means that disabled children will now have access to the woods and be able to participate in forest education classes and workshops and allow for a totally new experience for all at Cambo – badger watching!

Fife Leads By Example