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.
This winter has been very hard on the grounds at Dunans. We’ve seen so much intense rainfall that the paths, like last year, are a quagmire. Some relief was afforded by the freeze of last week, but the problem is deep-seated and is about what is happening to the climate overall.
In early January the amount of rainfall led to a large landslip in the ravine, effectively blocking any access to the Laird’s Island. This map, which will be familiar to Lairds and Ladies shows the exact location in relation to Castle and Bridge.
Finding a way to bridge this gap in our path network might prove impossible, given the dynamic nature of the landscape – see the video of the river from Sunday for an idea of the type of flow we receive on an ordinary day …
We’re hopeful that some form of bridge or boardwalk will be possible, but before then we’ll have to wait for the ravineside to settle – and frankly, we are not sure when that will be. We are therefore also looking at alternative pathways, particularly to aid our tours… We’ll have more on this as we work out solutions in time for opening in late March in time for Easter!