We will keep this up-to-date.
This is a follow-up to the first post on the reintroduction of red squirrrels to Lochalsh and Plockton, here.
Red squirrels are reclaiming more of their traditional Scottish habitats with a relocation programme in the north-west Highlands showing signs of success, its organisers announced today.
Read the full Scotsman article here
Congratulations to the Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band, World Champions 2017 in Novice B.
Check them on Facebook.
A Community Consultation
- What improvements can we make within our community?
- What are the challenges and issues that we face?
- What ideas are there for future projects?
- and . . .
What can we do about it?
In the Plockton Village Hall on Monday 12 June between 4 and 7pm, immediately prior to the Community Council AGM, which residents are also welcome to attend (with coffee, tea and biscuits).
This event is open to all residents of the Plockton & District Community Council area (including Achnadarach, Duirinish, Drumbuie, Duncraig and Craig.
A Memorial Celebration for Bruce Fewell will be held in the Plockton Village Hall, on Saturday 3 June at 3pm. More details here.
Superfast Fibre Broadband
Plockton BT exchange has now implemented superfast fibre optic broadband. Maximum speeds vary depending on provider, but for example, BT Infinity 2 downloads at up to 79Mbps (megabits per second). My recent test achieved 74Mbps.
This is definitely an upgrade on our old ADSL Max, which is still available — up to 8Mbps. Almost always, less, depending on the distance from the exchange. Technical details are at the the foot of this post.
What does this mean practically?
For email, attachments go faster. Web pages load quicker, but not hugely so. (So many other nodes between your browser and the remote website.) Downloads of large files, programs etc will be much quicker. Upload speed is much quicker.
But the major benefit is media.
On a Sky box, or similar, under slower broadband, you would download a movie in the afternoon and watch it in the evening, after the 2.8GB HD file, typically, has downloaded.
With superfast, you just choose your movie, and within a minute, it’s available to view (it’s streaming down, but has done enough in that time to start watching. This includes HD, High Definition.)
Or, if you have many in the household, all on their devices, there is much greater bandwidth for everyone.
If you don’t wish to upgrade, make sure that you are on your fastest possible ADSL. Phone your provider, ask that you are moved to the fastest ADSL, same price or less.
You should be making your choice based on, not just broadband, but telephone calls, TV and mobile.
All-in-one may be best. (But consider sports requirements: eg BT Sports and Sky together.)
ADSL Max will continue to be sold, and taken by those not aware. But you should be getting faster. And the price difference is not great.
In Plockton, we are still on 2.5 but will probably get 4G soon. 5G is a long time away.
The UK telecoms network has used fibre for backhaul for a long time now. Backhaul is the network between exchanges.
Now fibre has come to the cabinet, FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet).
There are two cabinets in Plockton, cabinet #2 outside Edmunds, #1 at Burnside.
So it’s fibre backhaul to the exchange (at the Station), then the recently installed (digging up the road) fibre to the cabinets.
But from the cabinets, it’s still copper to your house, which slows the signal down. Significantly, but by how much, is determined by distance.
FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) may be a long term goal of governments. (All fibre, no copper, hugely expensive.)
If you are close to a cabinet, good news. If you are at the end of a long copper loop, you won’t get the same benefit, but still, much faster.
Please note: if you are on a long loop, BT Infinity 2 (up to 79Mbps) may not give you any benefits. Your speed may drop to Infinity 1 (up to 52Mbs). In which case, that would be the best, and cheaper, option. But enquire first.
Further to the public meeting at the Village Hall on 24 October 2016, this verbatim from Barbara Macritchie, Estate Conservation Officer, NTS Balmacara:
The meeting went well on Monday. We had thirty one people attend. Becky Priestly, Trees for Life Wildlife Officer and Red Squirrel reintroduction Project leader explained the project, some background, about previous introductions and how the Plockton reintroduction would proceed. She then answered a number of questions from the audience and we collected the names of eight volunteers who offered to help with feeding the squirrels in the initial six month feeding period. There appeared to be a general feeling that it was a good project and that it would be good for the area of Plockton.
The plan is to release between twenty five and thirty squirrels between NTS ground and land managed by Tilhil (forestry company) in mid to later November. It is anticipated that squirrels will be seen in Plockton reasonably quickly and if successful will spread from there in time.
Plockton and District Historical Society, following discussions with the National Trust for Scotland, intend to erect a plaque on the wall of the Old Schoolhouse in Plockton (opposite the Plockton Inn) to commemorate the years spent in the village by Somhairle MacLean, the internationally acclaimed Gaelic poet, as Headmaster of Plockton High School.
We have invited his two remaining daughters, Mrs Ishbel Mackay and Mrs Mary Ross, to perform the unveiling ceremony. The event will take place at 12 noon on Tuesday 14 June 2016. All ex-pupils cordially invited.