Back in October David Wood, Site Manager for The Oa on Islay, asked for your support to ensure an exciting project planned for the reserve received funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help Initiative by voting at the store in Campbeltown. Here he fills us in on how things went and what happens next. 

And the winner is...

Well, the votes are in and RSPB Scotland’s Oa reserve placed a respectable third in Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative in their Campbeltown store. Now...., this was third out of three, and that might not sound as impressive, but it was actually still a great result. With no Tesco store even on the Isle of Islay, being part of the top three voted for projects in our nearest store was already a great success. Finishing third means that the reserve will receive an amazing £8,000 towards a project that will improve the visitor experience, especially for people with limited mobility. So, a big thank you to Tesco and all their customers who voted for us in their Campbeltown store.

The American Monument at The Oa

The Oa forms the southern tip of Islay, a large peninsula with rugged moorland and dramatic sea cliffs. With stunning views, majestic wildlife, and the impressive American monument perched on the very end, the Oa creates a draw for thousands of visitors every year. Our aim for this project is to sensitively expand the car park, and improve the access tracks and seating area. Currently the car park only holds a few cars, forcing people to double park or attempt to park on soft verges. By adjusting the layout of the car park we will create more spaces, improving access for all. A new improved accessible seating area will also be created, allowing everyone to rest and enjoy the views. New information boards at the parking area will aim to give people an understanding of the reserve and a taste of the coastal views and the monument. These improvements will be of benefit to all, but particularly to those with limited mobility who can't manage the walk to the monument and cliffs. 

Starting in the New Year, the main work to the car park and seating area should be finished before the busy spring period, with the information panels being completed by the summer. So, get planning your trip to Islay and visit the Oa to experience golden eagles, choughs, panoramic views across the Ireland and Kintyre and some nice parking and seating!