The Friends of Calgary Bay (FOCB) is a sub-group of the Mull & Iona Community Trust (Charity No: SCO25995) - www.mict.co.uk. The group is comprised primarily of residents of the Calgary area and from across Mull. Users of the beach and wild camping area, and other interested individuals, are also welcome to join.

 

The aim of FOCB is to preserve and protect the beautiful but ecologically-sensitive area at the head of Calgary Bay for the enjoyment of all, by working in close partnership with Argyll & Bute Council (in its capacity as both land-owner and local council) and Scottish Natural Heritage (the government body responsible for the management of the 'Calgary Dunes' SSSI), and with any other organisation whose aims support those mentioned above.

 

FOCB's Area of Management Interest includes Calgary beach (above the low water mark), the dunes, the machair (the area of grassland behind the dunes), and the wild camping area and public toilet facilities at the south side of the bay. This area coincides closely with the boundary of the 'Calgary Dunes' Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

 

FOCB is, with the support of Argyll & Bute Council and Scottish Natural Heritage, focussing on the following Issues:

  • Camping. Calgary is an increasingly popular destination for campers, in both tents and camper vans. The pressures arising from this increase have reached the stage where, in order to protect and promote the enjoyment and tranquillity of visitors and local residents alike, an effective management regime is required.
     

  • Toilets and water supply. The water supply to the toilets comes from a small feeder burn, fed via a tank, on the hillside behind the toilet block. Especially with the increased demand upon this supply in the summer months, it can become completely exhausted during period of drought (which normally occur in the summer months), creating a major public health hazard. In addition, the water is untreated and its quality is not monitored, thus it is strongly recommended that water from the toilet block is not used for drinking or domestic purposes. (Please note: owners of campervans are requested NOT to top up their vehicle's water tanks from the toilets.)
     

  • The condition of the machair and associated sand dunes has become degraded as their use by the public has increased. Grazing by rabbits and livestock may also be affecting the diversity of the native flora. In winter, heavy seas and high winds can damage the face of the machair, and some sections have been eroded, retreating several feet. Removal of the surface turf caused by illegal fires has also caused localised erosion.
     

  • Parking. During the summer months, the number of vehicles visiting Calgary often exceeds the capacity of the designated parking areas at the north and south sides of the bay. As a result, vehicles are routinely parked along the road-side and in the entrance to the grave-yard, creating a road safety hazard.
     

  • Fires. In the past, fires have been lit sporadically on the machair. The effect of this is to destroy the surface turf layer, allowing the wind and rain to penetrate the sandy layer below and to cause erosion.
     

  • Firewood. Timber for fires is too often collected by visitors from the woodlands adjacent to the wild camping area. In addition to the fact that some visitors have been cutting live timber using saws, these woodlands are formally designated as 'Regeneration Woodland' - which means that any extraction of timber, whether live or fallen, is illegal.
     

  • Litter. The bins at the toilets have in the past not been able to cope with the demand placed upon them, especially at peak season. When the bins are full, overflow rubbish is left beside the bins, and can then be scattered by gulls, etc, creating a public health hazard.
     

  • Dogs at times are left to roam indiscriminately along the beach, and may chase livestock. Dog excrement on the beach is also a problem at peak season, when large numbers of visitors use the beach.