Fireworks frighten horses (and other animals!)

For many people Bonfire Night is an enjoyable evening watching spectacular firework displays and warming themselves by a bonfire, but for horse owners it can be a time of concern and distress.

Fireworks can frighten even the most sensible horse, so all horse owners should be prepared for the firework season. The British Horse Society (BHS) has issued the following advice for owners:
Fireworks must not be set off near livestock or horses in fields or stables
It is best to keep your horse in its normal routine
Risk assess your stable yard and plan to limit disturbance
Ensure you find out if there are any displays planned nearby
Warn local organisers, councils and schools that there are horses in the area
Organise your plans in advance
Remain calm and positive yourself as horses will sense your unease
Keep your horse in a familiar environment
Safety for everyone is the key – do not put yourself in danger
This advice is available as a downloadable poster, along with further information from
The BHS also supports the Blue Cross guidelines on Fireworks and Animals which is available at and in paper format from both the Blue Cross and the BHS.
It is not just horse owners who need to be careful. People organising firework displays should inform local horse owners and it is also a good idea not to let off fireworks anywhere near fields or farms. Most people don’t realise how much suffering fireworks cause animals, particularly horses. Those who really want to have fireworks in their back garden should think carefully about how it will affect local pets and animals before they do so.

By being proactive in planning for fireworks and Bonfire Night, you can make the annual celebrations less stressful for you and your horse.

Useful resources:
SSPCA – Fireworks.
RSPCA – Bang! Fireworks frighten animals.


Boats, Buses, Fly-tipping, and Signs.

These appeared to be the major issues arising at the last Community Council meeting held on 4 October 2011.

All community councillors, bar one, were in attendance, along with seven others, who listened to the lengthy agenda which included the following:

Police Report
The police reported one crime of fire raising of the public toilets at the beach. Someone has been charged and it has been requested that any community service they might be asked to do, be undertaken in Ardentinny. When asked if there was any more news on the fires at the caravan site or the drugs raid at the same location, it was reported that an investigation into the former is still ongoing and that the latter case has not yet gone to court. Apparently the police now try to visit Ardentinny twice a shift and the public are invited to approach them regarding any concerns they might have.

Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer reported expenditure of £20 for Scottish Rights of Way membership subscription and a bank balance of £2049.54 pence.

Forestry Commission’s report
Jessie Crowe reported that the Forestry Commission plan to replace the destroyed beach toilets when funding is available and in the meantime they will leave the portaloos which are in place.

Fencing of the Nursery Field continues to be delayed until the owner of the caravan site completes the work he intends to do.

The rhododendron cutting programme is ongoing; the hedge cutting programme is still delayed until the contractor’s machine is functioning and the Stronvochlan Road work is still on their programme.

The Water to the bowling club will be left on for October after which it will be turned off to avoid frost damage.

Regarding previous discussion regarding the Carrick-Ardentinny route. The Forestry Commission does not intend to erect a bridge or handrail, as suggested and the risk assessment paperwork is available for Stephen Johnstone to inspect, as requested. Someone from FCS is also willing to walk the route with Stephen, at Stephen’s convenience. Jessie also said that distances on the route are marked on the finger posts but it is not possible to state how long the walk will take as it varies from walker to walker.

Questions arising from the FCS report focused on the responsibility of the control of Japanese knotweed on the shore. Suggestions were given on who to contact for advice and training.

Concerns from the regional to the very local were discussed. The first being the proposal by the Department of Transport to remove the Clyde coastguard service in order to make a saving of 1.4 million. Should this go forward, any calls for assistance in the Clyde area will be handled by Ireland or Aberdeen and this lack of local knowledge could be potentially life-threatening. Sandra Davidson explained that the lifeboats will remain but those controlling them will not know the area as well as the Clyde coastguard and while sailors can often describe where they are, giving local landmarks, they may be unable to give their map coordinates. The Convener read aloud a standard letter of protest addressed to the Right Honourable Philip Hammond, MP which the Community Council could send, if agreed. However, she also asked those present if they had any further local knowledge which might usefully be added. Sandra Davidson promised to email her a paragraph with the information requested.

The second ‘boat’ issue was that of an abandoned boat on Ardentinny beach. It was reported that this had been donated by the owner to a charity auction and had been won by a resident who plans to remove it.

Councillor Marshall announced that the Sligrachan Sunday bus service would end on the 23rd of October. The new Sunday timetable is available here.

In addition to the concern regarding the abandoned boat on Ardentinny beach, it now seems that the area surrounding it has become a tip and Councillor Bruce Marshall was asked if a Council uplift of the offending tipped material could be organised. He agreed to liaise with Teresa Forsyth and try and organise an uplift, as requested.

Signs of a various nature were a recurring topic for discussion. The Forestry Commission is considering putting up additional signage at the Ardentinny end of the Carrick- Ardentinny route. The content of new signage on the Larach continued to be debated. Councillor Marshall requested a copy of the previous police input on this matter and promised to take it to the appropriate department for consideration.

The Convener also raised an issue, which had been carried forward from the previous meeting, regarding the level of responsibility the Community Council should take to inform residents, by way of a notice, of any future aerial spraying. After some discussion it was agreed that it was the legal responsibility of the contractor to put up signs warning the public and not that of the community council. After further discussion regarding whether or not the legally required signage had been put in place by the contractor and whether the Community Council was required to further inform the community, the Convener suggested that this would be discussed with other Community Councils to establish their responsibility on the issue. It was also agreed that the Community Council would write to the Helicopter Company asking them for details on the content and the location of the signs they claim to have put up. The Convener said she would draft a letter and circulate to all Community Councillors for their feedback & also try and get feedback from the next Caucus.
Ardentinny Community Council meeting Minutes 4 October, 2011 (pdf).


New Ardentinny bus timetables published

The new Ardentinny bus timetable comes into effect on 23 October, 2011. The main change for Ardentinny residents and visitors is that the Sunday bus service will now amalgamate with the Toward service and become the 489. The Sunday 489 service will terminate at Ardentinny Car Park and will run four return journeys from Dunoon at 09.30, 11.30, 14.30 and 16.30. One positive aspect of the change in Sunday services will be the ability for Ardentinny residents to now travel to Toward Lighthouse without the need to change buses!

Download 485 timetable (PDF)
Download 489 timetable (PDF)


Glenfinart Garden project welcomes Cowalfest walkers

Diane McCormack, Cowalfest Organiser; James Gordon, Ardentinny Trust Deputy Convener; a Cowalfest walker; Dennis Gower, Trust Convener.

Despite the rain, Ardentinny Community Trust welcomed Cowalfest walkers to Glenfinart Walled Garden on Saturday 15th October. Walkers were able to go around the garden and also view a small exhibition on the project.

It was a plan hatched at a Highlands and Islands Enterprise conference in Ardfern last year. There, Cowalfest organiser, Diane McCormack met with Trust members and suggested they might like to include the Glenfinart garden in this year’s programme.

The Trust hopes to build on this and have garden visits and walks included in Cowalfest 2012.


Injured eider duck found on Ardentinny beach


This beautiful eider duck was found earlier this evening on Ardentinny beach. He appears to have sustained an injury on his breast. At this moment we’re unsure as to the reason for the injury. He appeared unable to fly and made no attempt to escape. He’s now bedded down for the night in’s hen run. We’ll get him to the vet first thing in the morning. Watch for updates later on Monday.

Update 17 Oct. 2011: Sadly the eider duck died overnight. On closer examination this morning, he appeared to have a large wound (see photograph) possibly caused by a fishing hook.














Project Officer for Glenfinart Walled Garden

Two weeks after receiving the necessary funding to purchase Glenfinart Walled Garden, Ardentinny Community Trust Ltd. has received additional grants from the Scottish Government, European Community & Argyll & The Islands LEADER 2007-2013 programme and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) to fund a self-employed, part-time Project Officer to support the board of directors to develop a social enterprise. The total value of this contract is £10,000, to which the Trust contributed £1,000,with the remaining £9,000 coming from LEADER (50%) and HIE (50%), respectively.

The successful candidate will identify funding sources, prepare funding applications and supporting information, including community consultations and engagement, and will update the Business Plan as the funding package develops. Applicants need to have experience of fundraising, community engagement and work in the public, private and third sectors. The closing date for applications is 26 October, 2011. The contract is currently being advertised in the Dunoon Observer & Argyllshire Standard, on and on other websites.

Additional funding has also been secured from the Scottish Government, European Community & Argyll & The Islands LEADER 2007-2013 programme (£6,295) and The Big Lottery’s Awards for All programme (£2,000) which, together with £3295 from Ardentinny Trust, will help with other start up costs, e.g.,the provision of a storage facility, tools etc.

Trust Convenor, Dennis Gower, said ‘It is very heartening to see our Glenfinart Garden project garnering such support and, as the news spreads, we receive even more expressions of encouragement and offers of help.’

This weekend the Trust is participating in the Cowalfest programme by welcoming walkers to Glenfinart walled garden at 10.30 and 13.00 on Saturday 15th October. There, they will be welcome to view the garden in its present state and receive information on the project’s progress and future plans.