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Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation

Less than a 10 minute drive from the Crinan Hotel, you will find the Visitor Information and Wildlife Interpretation Centre run by The Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation.  This is a charitable organisation formed in 2017 with the aims of environmental protection and education centred around Knapdale in the Heart of Argyll.

The HOAWO centre at Barrandaimh (Gaelic for ‘Ridge of the Young Stag’) is located in the beautiful Knapdale Woods, a 586 hectare Site of Special Scientific Interest, rich in birds, dragonflies, lichens, otters, red squirrels, Atlantic oak woodland and, of course, the Knapdale beavers. The centre is open from 10am seasonally.

The centre has a wide variety of resources for all ages - there are wall displays and tables littered with interesting finds as well as a good selection of reference books.  And there are activities and items which should keep younger naturalists occupied as well.  The knowledgeable and helpful staff and volunteers will be pleased to chat with you about all sorts of aspects of the wildlife in Argyll and further afield. They can offer guidance on where to go and what you might hope to see locally, and there is a programme of events and guided walks which are highly recommended.

You can find out more about HOAWO from the leaflet you can download below or their website and Facebook pages where up to date information about opening hours and events and guided walks can be found.  
 

HOAWO leaflet - click here to download

HOAWO late summer 2017 programme - click here to download

 

Centre Opening Hours for 2017:- 10am - 5pm

June: Mondays & Thursdays. 

July/August: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays to July 14th.
Monday to Friday from July 17th to August 18th.
From August 21st: Mondays and Thursdays plus Tuesday August 29th.

September: Mondays and Thursdays.

October: Mondays and Thursdays plus every day from 16th – 23rd.

 

2017 Walks & Events

Charges: HOAWO walks and event costs vary but are usually £5 per adult, £3 per child unless otherwise stated. Family tickets (up to 2 adults and 2 children) £12. Booking is highly recommended, please get in touch by either phone or email. (Details on Contact Page on HOAWO website).
All children must be accompanied by an adult.

HOAWO walks and events may be changed due to weather conditions etc. Please check on the HOAWO website. Any changes will also be advertised on Facebook and Twitter. Booking for walks is advised (tel. 01546 810279 or 810218 or [email protected]) to ensure you have a place and can be advised of any changes if necessary.


July:-

Tuesday 18th July. Beaver walk.
Guided walk leaving from Barnluasgan car park at 6pm.

Thursday 20th July. Bikes and Birds. Crinan to Bellanoch.
Bring your bike and enjoy an easy cycle with us from the Crinan Canal basin car park along the canal tow path to see the bird life on the Add Estuary, and call in at the wildlife hide at Bellanoch. (*no helmet, no participation). From 4pm.

Monday 24th July. Seashore Rockpool Discovery. 
Adults £3 Children £2
What lives in the rock pools? Meet at Carsaig at 11.30am Carsaig is situated just opposite Tayvallich. Turn right just before the Shop and Cafe. Park at the car park.

Tuesday 25th July. Recycled Rockets! 
£3 per child, Adults free.
Have a go at launching one of our recycled plastic fizzy drinks bottle rockets and have a go at making your own. HOAWO visitor centre 2pm.

Thursday 27th July. Butterflies at Barr an Daimh
Help us to find and record the butterflies in the area around the HOAWO visitor centre as part of Scotland’s big butterfly event. From 2pm.

August:-

Tuesday 1st August. Moths & Minibeasts.
Find out what we have caught in our moth trap overnight, and explore what mini beasts live in the surrounding trees with a ’tree bash’ and get up close and personal with our small creatures. All ages welcome. HOAWO visitor centre 10am.

Thursday 3rd August. Butterflies at Barr an Daimh
Help us to find and record the butterflies in the area around the HOAWO visitor centre as part of Scotland’s big butterfly event. From 2pm.

Tuesday 8th August. Beaver walk.
Guided walk leaving from Barnluasgan car park at 6pm.

Wednesday 9th August. Natural Crafts Day.
Suggested donation £3.50 per person.
Come and make a natural dream catcher, make a clay face on a tree, make a bird feeder and seed cake, help us make a big minibeast hotel at HOAWO visitor centre, identify all the really small stuff on a mini guided walk with Plantlife Scotland. This is a joint event with Kilmartin Museum and Plantlife Scotland from 10am-4pm.

Tuesday 15th August. Faery Isles cycle ride
Adults £5 Children £3
Bring your bike (and a helmet), a drink and a snack, and join us for a cycle down towards the Faery Isles from Loch Coille-Bharr car park. 2pm (*no helmet, no participation)

Thursday 17th August. Seashore Rockpool Discovery. 
£3 Adults £2 child
What lives in the rock pools. Time and location to be decided based on tides (check back here and look on social media for details). 

Tuesday 22nd August. Beaver walk.
Guided walk leaving from Barnluasgan car park at 6pm.

Thursday 24th August. Photography with Philip Price
bring a smart phone or camera. Meet at the HOAWO visitor centre at 2pm.

September:-

Tuesday 5th September. Beaver walk.
Guided walk leaving from Barnluasgan car park at 6pm.

Saturday 2nd September. Members BBQ & Bat event.
If you’re a member of HOAWO, you can enjoy coming along to this event free of charge. Have a fun social evening with us at Barr an Daimh with food on the BBQ and (hopefully) bats in the air for us to hear with our detectors. If you’re not a member ...JOIN! The fun starts at 6.30pm.

Tuesday 12th September. Beaver walk.
Guided walk leaving from Barnluasgan car park at 6pm.

Saturday 16th September. Bats at Barr an Daimh. 
£4 per Adults. £2 Children.
Our buildings and surrounding woodland are home to many bats, come and hear their ultrasonic calls through our bat detectors and identify their species by their unique frequency. Barr an Daimh. 7pm.

October:- 

Tuesday 17th October. Fungi Foray
Join us and a local expert to hunt out a wide variety of colourful and fantastic fungi growing in Knapdale. This is a popular event - booking strongly advised! 2pm.


What to bring: Suitable clothing for the weather (raincoats and sun protection - this is Argyll!) midgie repellent/net and sturdy footwear suitable for rough terrain, wellies are good for pond dipping!
Binoculars if you have them - but not to worry if you don’t, we have some to share. It’s always worth bringing along your camera.
For an evening event a torch is handy and for our bat event if you have a detector so much the better!
It is not recommended that dogs accompany us as they may affect wildlife sightings, but if you have no other option, please ensure they are on a lead.

 

Please check the HOAWO website and Facebook pages before turning up to an event - dates and times may change at short notice (subject to weather etc) and it is advisable to book in advance.

 

More information about Wildlife and Birdwatching in Argyll can be found here - http://www.exploreargyll.co.uk/things-to-do.php?cat=196