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
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
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.