Alternate Paths: Winter deluge creates opportunity to create a new loop at Dunans

As you may have gathered, we had a particularly destructive winter – or rather the weather during this last winter caused major destruction… we’ve had landslips and mud slumps, there are cracks in paths and repairs are a necessity. But in one stretch (where the landslip is) the difficulties in repair have meant that we have had to take the decision to create a new loop of pathway above the ravine. We’ve therefore utilised space created by our clearance of the invasive rhododendron ponticum to make the space we need.

The photos, taken a couple of weeks back show the beginnings – of course its muddy, its Argyll – and below these, I’ve included a capture of the new signage we’re having made to show visitors where to walk. Once the new cuts have stabilised, we’ll use geotextile to line the paths, wood milled onsite as edging and type one aggregate to provide the main body of the paths.

And an excerpt from the new sign … the yellow points show the new loop, and the faded mauve the closed paths.


Saturday Sawmill: Finally beginning the next stage of grounds management at Dunans

photo 2Its taken four weeks to get the Lucas Mill into place in the woodland at the top of the hill, but on Saturday I managed to get the first Larch logs through the mill. Over two hours I produced 30 4x1s as a test, and hope for my next session, sometime this week, I’ll be able to produce considerably more.

The timber will be used on more signage lecterns, boardwalks, seating and other such necessary visitor furniture!

photo 3

Before & After: a pasture full of rashes & a pasture full of *cut* rushes

WARNING: If you have never used or wanted to use a lawn mower, strimmer, brush-cutter or scythe, then this post is probably not for you!

I know, I know, this really is a man and machine-type thing – you know when we get all excited about the latest, greatest gadget – but in this case its the repaired mechanical scythe which we really missed last year when it went out of commission.

There are areas of the grounds at Dunans which have consistently resisted taming, and only by using of our trusty BCS 620 Powerscythe can we ever hope to reduce the rash quota and reinstate grasses, wildflowers and other entirely desirable natives. Even inch thick, gnarly bramble succumbs.

The pictures show a before and after of the lawn on the south side of the castle – well, I call it a lawn, but it has been traversed by several heavy machines and is now more like a mire. I am hoping a weekly cut with the scythe will begin to get things back to a sward-like state.


Lairds and Ladies’ Plots plotted on GPS via beta app we’re updating over the next week

We have a lot of requests from Lairds and Ladies for a GPS Coordinate of their plot when they come here for their tour (and actually alot of folk want to be able to see the exact location of their plot online too). So we have a small app which does exactly that.

At the moment, it will provide a result for all plots up to around N5400E1. You enter your plot number into the search box, and if there is a result, you are taken to googlemaps where a pin is dropped on the approximate location of the GPS coordinates (see picture above).

We say approximate because we are not entirely sure that Google plots GPS exactly right in our location.

Anyway, you can check your plot here.