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Mendelssohn on Mull 25th Anniversary Festival

Mendelssohn on Mull 25th Anniversary Festival   1 - 6 July 2013 An astonishing programme of concerts and recitals. More information here      

Refurbishment

During 2009/10, we totally refurbished Burnside Cottage. The new oak kitchen is such a change from the old pine one and modernising the bathroom, replacing the old whisper grey bathroom suite and installing a white modern suite and tiling, has made such a difference. Out went the old storage heaters and putting in under floor heating, central heating as well as a multi fuel stove have made the cottage toasty even on the coldest wintry days. The biggest challenge however, was the decision to take out the old fireplace and deciding to take the whole wall down at the same time! We were sure, from seeing the top half of an old granite wall in the loft, that there would be a granite wall behind the existing fireplace!  I don’t think we were really prepared though for the fact that the wall needed such an amount of work and also all the mess – there was dust everywhere! The men came to take the fireplace out in November 2009, and the wall with the new stove and hearth was completed in early April 2010. We believe it was worth it and we now have a unique feature wall made of the pink granite which has played such a big part in this areas history. Please take a look at our photo diary which lets you follow our journey.

Wildlife – Birds

BBC’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch have repeatedly shown the world a glimpse of the fantastic wildlife on Mull, from the successful reintroduction of the majestic sea eagle, to the dolphins and otters which frequent the seas. Springtime however also heralds the arrival of many species of birds from across the world. A fortnight ago we had the elusive Corncrake in the field beside the house we could hear its rasping call over and over again as it searched for a mate.  Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to see this secretive bird this time as it likes to hide in tall vegetation and is very difficult to spot. They arrive from South East Africa to the western isles in mid April and leave again in August/September. With only about 1145 calling males recorded the RSPB have categorised Corncrakes as Red status which means they are an endangered species with significantly reduced numbers being recorded over the last 25 years or longer. Hopefully the conservation efforts now in place will help reverse this trend.