River Diaries #7



New visitor facilities at Perthshire nature reserve

A Perthshire nature reserve has given a facelift to its visitor facilities to help them blend into the landscape.

TheBen Lawers old 1970s visitor centre and car park at the Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve have been removed.
The National Trust for Scotland has now restored the site to moorland, with a new car park placed in a less visible site within a woodland setting.

New information signs have also been created, designed to be more sympathetic to the surroundings.
The design of these new structures takes inspiration from ruined shielings, small buildings where farmers lived when their livestock were grazing in the hills, found across the reserve.
The work to restore the site was started by the Trust in autumn 2010.

Property Manager Helen Cole said:

“Ben Lawers is one of Scotland’s most popular walking destinations, with seven Munros, fabulous views over Loch Tay and a huge diversity of plant and animal life.
“We hope these new facilities will enable the Trust to meet its key aims of encouraging everyone to explore their natural heritage, while ensuring that we protect Scotland’s landscape for future generations.”


BLUE CHARM (New Film About Salmon Fishing In Scotland)



Long seen as being the home of salmon fishing, and much more than just another fishing destination, to those visiting, Scotland offers unique culture based on generations of people learning and refining the art of fly fishing for salmon.

One such person is Ian Gordon, his intimate knowledge of Scottish rivers coming from three generations of fly fishermen before him.

In “Blue Charm” Ian utilises this knowledge, along with his perfect understanding of fly-casting, to great effect in presenting this film, the theme of which is based around how to fish three different sized rivers; the magnificent River Spey, the wonderfully scenic Royal Dee, and the enchanting River Findhorn. The film encapsulates a great many facets of salmon fishing in these truly wonderful rivers, not to mention the outstanding bounty of Atlantic salmon and other wildlife which are found in and around them.

Fishing and casting sequences are both tastefully and colourfully enveloped with a clever, yet unobtrusive use of modern graphics focusing on simple but important elements of fly-casting and river-craft. The very simple format and clear filming from two different angles, provide the viewer with easy to follow instruction along with common mistakes and remedies whilst making 6 different fly-casts.

Iani’s humour also manifests itself in the film, making it both entertaining as well as educational.

This unique insight into Salmon Fishing in Scotland, its culture, history and characters will leave you with a desire to see more and ask more questions about the home of salmon fishing. Ian arranges both fishing and casting courses on those and many other Scottish rivers. He specialises in arranging fishing holidays and vacations for weeks and half weeks to some of the most stunning locations in Scotland.

>Further information and general enquiries about the film contact Ian Gordon – ian@speyonline.com

Swallows and Deer at the Pond

I took a bike run to the Swan Pond this morning to try out my new FUJIFILM FINEPIX 2980 that I bought a few days ago.It is a bridge camera so I wasn’t expecting it be a good as the camera I had been using, the FUJIFILM S9500Colin had gave me this as he had upgraded to a beautiful NIKON camera, unfortunately I dropped it and it broke, so I was left with nothing to use.

So I will do a full review of the S2980 later and give my opinion on it for FWN viewers to read.Anyway the pond was full of interesting birds and animals and I was well chuffed to get some shots of some Swallows (which I have been trying to get for some time). They were perched only a few feet from the hedge I was leaning against and as you see below, they are quite good.


There were lots of Swallows about due to the hot weather and the abundance of flies around the fields and they were in full voice and inquisitive of what I was doing.

Blue coloring coming through on the back of the Swallow

I could hear a Buzzard above me and two Herons were in the far field, but it was to the far off wood which took my interest.Through the binoculars I spotted three Deer, two adults and a young one, nestling in the grass.Although they were far off I tried out the zoom on the S9800 and got a shot.

Far away shot of one of the Deer

Hopefully sometime soon I will try and get some closer shots of the Deer, the wood seems to have a lot of possibilities in getting some good nature photos.

Fuji FinePix S2980 14 Megapixel Digital Camera


With an 18x zoom, 14 megapixel sensor, 720p HD video capture and the option of manual photographic, there’s plenty of room to explore your creativity. Capture a hawk in the wild, a tiger on safari or your kids playing football in the park – the compact Fuji S2980 can do it all.

If you only have time for point-and-shoot, the Fuji S2980 digital camera can be switched to SR Auto mode for total ease of use. The combination of a high-precision Fujinon lens and 14 megapixel resolution give you stunningly pin-sharp picture quality.

Create stunning panorama photos by shooting a series of pictures and then letting the Fuji S2980 HD seamlessly stitch them together in-camera. There’s also an electronic viewfinder to compliment the 3 inch LCD display.

Smile Detection automatically takes a photo as soon as a smile is detected, ensuring all your pictures are happy ones. When photographing fast moving subjects or action shots, the Tracking AF mode will lock on to moving subjects and keep them in focus.

Dual image stabilisation reduces blurring caused by hand shake, motion or low light. You can also use the Fuji FinePix S2980 to easily upload pictures and video to social networking sites.

Useful info:

  • 14 megapixel resolution
  • 3 inch LCD display
  • 18 x optical zoom (28-504 mm equivalent)
  • ISO 100-6400
  • 720p movie recording at 30fps
  • Scene Recognition Auto
  • Face Recognition
  • Easy web uploads
  • AA battery
  • SD/SDHC memory card slot
  • Fuji FinePix S2980 HD digital camera