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Volunteer Opportunity Tireragan Ross of Mull

January 25, 2023

Volunteer opportunity at Tireragan, Ross of Mull, March 2023

A walk through Tireragan, a wild coastal Mull landscape allowed to regenerate for nearly 30 years, reveals a heady profusion of plant species and wildlife.  Without sheep and deer to overgraze the land, this is what the environment on Mull can deliver. Tireragan is a naturally rewilding nature reserve on the farthest south-west tip of the Ross of Mull. Once home to almost 100 people, replaced by sheep in the early 1800’s, this 625 hectares of ancient Atlantic rainforest is now managed by the Tireragan Trust.

The Tireragan Trust is about to start a peat restoration project which involves rewetting ancient peat bog by blocking existing draining ditches.  Because of the rough terrain, the work involved will be strenuous, therefore the Trust is inviting a labour force of volunteers to participate. Two work weeks are planned: March 4th-11th and March 18th-25th. Food and accommodation are provided; the accommodation is the Ross of Mull Bunkrooms so be aware that rooms will be shared.  For further details about the volunteer opportunity please email and for background information visit the website

The story of the regeneration of Tireragan begins in 1993 when the land came up for sale and a charity “Highland Renewal” was established to purchase the land. Their vision was a holistic one, covering the creation of a Highland rural community as well as the conservation of the environment. The Dutch owners of nearby Erraid were so inspired by the vision that they bought the land for Highland Renewal to manage. One of the most important projects which could then go ahead was to erect a deer-proof ring-fence 6.8 kilometers long, around the whole of the hill land, which has allowed for the natural regeneration of Tireragan ever since.  Major plant surveys were carried out from the time of the founding of the Highland Renewal and in subsequent years, various surveys of plants and wildlife took place. In 1997 the charity established way-marked trails which allowed visitors and locals easier access to the reserve, including to the magnificent and beautiful Traigh Ghael beach.

The original vision of Highland Renewal included the revival of the communities that once lived there, and preserving and developing some of the abandoned buildings. This proved to be not viable with the resources available. The challenges faced and successes delivered by Highland Renewal in its early years are documented in a report by Carol Riddell, the then Trust Project Manager;  Her booklet, “Tireragan, a Township on the Ross of Mull” is also well worth a read and is available from Amazon.

In June 2021, Highland Renewal was converted to a charity, the Tireragan Trust. The purpose of the new Trust is very much focused on the protection and enhancement of the biodiversity of the rainforest, moorland and marine habitats of Tireragan, and conducting regular surveys of the fauna and flora. The way-marked trails are now in need of restoration work, but a walk through Tireragan is still possible, although best attempted after a dry spell when there is less mud!