The silent world of the walk out from Ben Alder Cottage – where has all the wild life gone.The industrial clearance of trees made some of the forest look like a bomb site?

As we wandered back through Ben Alder Cottage it was a stunning morning. We walked out along the path now partly frozen then the track through forestry and cleared areas. We all remarked how few animals we had seen. Of course there were young hinds at Rannoch station that was all we saw. Many years ago I would see Eagle’s and other birds above the Loch and round the bothy. The shore at Loch Ericht has many footprints of deer but there were not seen. We stopped often to take a break and enjoy the light changes the Allen glow always watching for birds or animals. The forest in places is being felled it’s a terrible mess like a bomb site. To me it’s industrial in the clearance of wood and no wonder few wild animals are about? What a mess in places it is or is this just me. I could not take a photo of the mess.

I sadly do not know enough about the forestry and how it makes money. Yet I know that wood is expensive just now maybe that’s why so much seems to be getting felled? Forest have in the past attracted huge government tax incentives and past grants. I do not understand the financial package when the trees are ready to cut? Does the government get any return? It’s a strange world we live in or does it all go to those unknown investors. I understand it takes a long time for trees to become a commercial viable investment.

It would be great if tax incentives or grants are given that the Government gets a % of the sale of the wood when the time comes. I wonder Is this possible ?

Rannoch is a stunning estate and great to get access to the hills and the use of the bothy. Yet in the end is it right that so few people or companies many abroad can buy huge areas of Scotland. Many seem to do what they wish with it. Our Freedom of access is world renown it was agreed by the Scottish Parliament agreement in all political parties. It is one of the success of this small country but there seems so much more to achieve.

The older I get the more I love my country. My walk back to Tulloch in a stunning day was heightened at the end. The wee tea shop at Rannoch station was open with an honesty box. I had a brew and a Tunnocks cake what a great end to a special few days. It made me so happy to believe there is still trust and hospitality from many folk. I wish some of our politicians would take note.

Please note this is just a few thoughts on my last few days in a place of great beauty. It’s up to us to support Freedom of Access and that bit that few mention “who owns Scotland”

Comments / thoughts as always welcome.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Bothies, Enviroment, Flora, Friends, Mountaineering, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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