Sep 17 2021

Spotlight on an enthusiastic new Scotland volunteer

Olivia Bere MacVarish has just joined our Woodland Trust Scotland volunteering team.  She is a new warden at Abriachan Wood as well as a tree seed collector. 




Abriachan Wood, with it’s breathtaking views of of Loch Ness in the Great Glen, covers a steep and rocky hillside above the loch, a 5km (3.1-mile) stretch of the north-western shore of Loch Ness between Drumnadrochit and Inverness. 


Beautiful Abriachan Wood  – Image by Ross Watson


Ross Watson, Site Manager for Abriachan, is delighted to have her on board.  He was so impressed by her enthusiasm and can-do attitude.  Ross often speaks of how his wardens are so good that they could take over managing the site for him!


Here is a short piece by Olivia about her new warden role:


I applied to volunteer for the Woodland Trust as I was looking for an opportunity to work within nature. I had recently decided to change my career path from the events industry over to working within wildlife and conservation, and having started a new course at college in this subject, I wanted to get some hands on experience. What better way to connect and learn with/from nature than volunteering for a well trusted organisation that cares and protects the countryside.


Whilst volunteering at Abriachan Woods I will be clearing paths, maintaining drainage, checking on fences/gates and general maintenance, clearing empty tree tubes and being on hand for anything the woods need from me. I will basically oversee the woods are kept in their best condition so they can carrying on thriving. 


I am looking forward to seeing all the seasons in this glorious magical place, how they will change the layout and feel of the woods. I can’t wait to get to know all the nooks and crannies and explore all the paths and soak in all the views over Loch Ness.


What I love about Abriachan Woods is the sound of the birds above forever tweeting away, it’s almost like they are following you on your walk and guiding you up the hill to the most epic views over Loch Ness. It really is a magical area and it is a pleasure to be able to volunteer here and contribute to its wellbeing.


Since I started last month I have helped with a tree survey along the banks of the forest to check on the wellbeing of the trees near the road. It was a day full of learning and I had such an insightful day. I enjoyed a few walks with the dog in tow and have had a good dig around the ditches to make sure they can flow freely and cleared some of the paths and bridges. I’m loving every second of being here.


Olivia Bere MacVarish


Here are some more images of stunning Abriachan:



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