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15 February 2024UPDATE - HERRING GULL NUISANCE 2024

Dear Resident

In response to local concern, for the past two years the Community Council has taken action to tackle the probem of gulls nesting on properties and causing disturbance and nuisance.  FRCC applied for the the necessary licences on behalf of householders and contracted North East Pest Management to remove nests.  The action taken has deterred gulls, but is not a quick fix and continuing measures need to be taken to deter nesting in the future.

The herring gull is categorised by the RSPB as endangered, following a drop in numbers at traditional nesting sites (counting does not include urban or built environments).  A licence is legally required before a gull nest/eggs can be removed from a property, hence the paperwork undertaken by the Community Council in previous years.  The licences are issued by Nature.Scot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage).  However this year, it has tightened up the conditions which need to be met,

The Community Council is now NOT able to take collection action on behalf of residents because Nature.Scot has informed us that licences cannot be applied for on a precautionary basis - ie to be used, or not, depending if gulls go on to nest at a site.  Licence applications should only be made once gulls have started to nest and then by the property concerned, with supporting evidence.

Our advice to residents troubled by gulls is either to contact North East Pest Management (link below) or another pest control company, or to make an applicaton themselves (see Nature.Scot link below) AS SOON AS IT IS CLEAR THAT GULLS ARE PREPARING TO NEST.  The process requires the applicant to:

  • State what measures have been previously tried - such as using noise, or fixing a bird-scaring device - and why these have been unsuccessful.
  • Be specific on the type of gull (almost certainly herring gulls).
  • State the nature of the nuisance - noise disturbance, aggression, dive-bombing vulnerable individuals, concern for pets and children, nesting which blocks chimneys or flues, risk of droppings contaminating foodstuffs, etc - with as much detail as possible on how gull nesting affects you.

If you need guidance or advice regarding the application form, you can get in touch with the FRCC and we will endeavour to assist.  Continuing action by individuals helps everyone in the villages.  

It is also very important that we do not feed herring gulls and explain to those tht do that their actions are working against the intersts of neighbours whose lives can be severely impacted by nesting gulls.

NorthEast Pest Management - 07594 274 863 / northeastpestmanagementltd@outlook.com

Nature.Scot licensing link here

05 February 2024Public Transport consultation

At the end of last year we asked for residents' views on public transport on the Black Isle. We collated the responses and sent them to our three Ward Councillors.  Here is the email we sent and in red the response from the Passenger & School Transport lead at the Highland Council.  He also passed on the email to Stagecoach because several of the comments related to their commercial services.

*****

Dear Councillors

You may be aware that Fortrose and Rosemarkie Community Council recently asked residents for feedback on local public transport.  We thought an information-gathering exercise might be of use to our Ward Councillors if/when you next have an opportunity to discuss the matter with Highland Council officials and/or the service provider.  We are happy to pass on details if required, but we thought a summary would be helpful at this stage:

We had 6 emails and around 26 Facebook comments (before the Black Isle Noticeboard Facebook administrator turned off responses) and a discussion with our five Young Councilors (aged 15-17).

The single biggest complaint was the cancellation of the late bus back from Inverness.

16 people commented - many mentioning the cost of a taxi (£45-50) alternative, and the limiting effect it had on attending events, eg Eden Court, and on job opportunities.

This was a budget saving agreed by the Council last year. Passenger numbers on this service were very low, having failed to recover from the covid lockdown. However, I am happy to find out from Stagecoach how passenger trends have been on their evening services in general in the last year. I’m afraid I do not have any budget to enable the restoration of the late evening service but I will keep the matter in mind in case an opportunity arises.

There were 4 comments relating to the lack of a bus service serving Feddon Hill in Fortrose - a housing estate with an elderly population only accessible via a long steep climb.

The location and road layout of Feddon Hill does make it rather difficult to serve by bus. I remember that it was served several years ago, but I don’t have details of how regularly or how many passengers it carried from there. It would be for Stagecoach to assess whether they would be able to alter their Service 26 route to include Feddon Hill.

There were 2 comments regarding reliability especially in the morning (impacting employment and college attendance). The Young Councillors raised this verbally.

I am aware that reliability has improved since the introduction of Stagecoach’s new buses, but as these are commercial services, it would be for them to respond to.

There were 2 comments regarding poor timetabling (eg lack of coordination around arrival times of buses for onward train travel).

Buses on the route are generally hourly. There are several possible connections in Inverness (trains to Edinburgh/Glasgow or Aberdeen, or Citylink buses to these and other places). Building a timetable around one connection is likely to adversely affect another. With an hourly bus service, it is possible, most of the time, to make a reasonable connection. Morning connections into Trains to the south are typically in the range of 20 to 30 minutes.

Other issues raised:

lack of wheelchair-accessible buses

All buses are wheelchair accessible.

cost of tickets (raised by Young Councillors, who although they travel free, say it's not cost effective to travel as a family so family trips are by car).

Fares are set by Stagecoach.

lack of facilities to carry a bike which would enable onward/return journeys from bus stop

There are practical difficulties in providing for bikes on buses, but the HiTrans “Hi-bike” bike share scheme can be used for onward journeys.

lack of service between Rosemarkie and Fortrose for those too elderly to walk

All Service 26 buses go through Rosemarkie and Fortrose.

lack of a service between Dingwall and the Black Isle 

This is admittedly a limited service (run under contract to the Council), but there are two buses each way on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from north Black Isle on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

positive feedback on the condition of the new buses on the route

 Good to know!

Suggestions:

put trackers on buses to make the app more accurate

a park and ride in Tore with linking services - esp to Inverness and Dingwall

A park & ride is being investigated as one of our Bus Partnership Fund projects.

With best wishes

Jo-Anne Pugh

Sec, FRCC

 

04 February 2024Winter Ceilidh

Thanks to everyone who came along and threw themselves into the dancing at our Winter Ceilidh on Friday night.  The Gordon Memorial Hall in Rosemarkie looked magnificent and the Black Isle Ceilidh Band were, as ever, superb!  The Treasurer is currently totting up what we raised for our Christmas Lights fund.

06 January 2024Winter Ceilidh - 2nd February - Tickets now on sale!

26 December 2023HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Thank you to everyone who helped organise and to everyone who came along to our Community Carols and Festive Songs at Fortrose Cathedral on Christmas Eve. The wind and the rain held off - a Christmas miracle!  The money raised (when it's counted) will go local good causes.

18 December 2023Carols at the Cathedral - Christmas Eve 6.30pm

Come and join us for some Community Carol Singing (and other festive songs) in Cathedral Square, Fortrose at 6.30pm on Christmas Eve - Sunday 24th December.

If you've been good this year, Santa might even drop in before he sets off on his travels.  (And if you haven't been good, you can comfort yourself with the Anderson's mulled wine afterwards!)

Song sheets will be available as usual at the gate, but you might want to scan this QR code and save the images on your phone instead - easier to see in the dark and saves paper.

 

 

13 December 2023Ready for Christmas - and carols at the Cathedral

A big thank you to DAVID GUTHRIE and his band of volunteers David Grigor, Nick Lake, Philip MacLennan, Alastair Nelson and Iain MacCuish who put up the Christmas lights around our villages.  A special thank you to MARY GALLOWAY who kindly donated this lovely tree, which now adorns Cathedral Square, ready for the Community Carols on Christmas Eve!

01 December 2023Christmas Eve carols at the Cathedral

01 December 2023

URGENT - CHRISTMAS-MINDED VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

*** We urgently need some more volunteers to erect our Christmas Tree in Cathedral Square and lights in Rosemarkie and Fortrose.

If you think you can help some time on the weekend of 8th/9th December, please email us asap at fortroseandrosemarkie@gmail.com

*** If you can help out on the night of our community Carols in the Cathedral at 6.30pm (for about an hour) on Sunday, 24th December - Christmas Eve - please let us know. 

 

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