Monday, 13 January 2020

Scotland 2019 25: Glen Feshie

Having had our fill of red squirrels (is there such a thing?), we asked the wardens at Loch Garten about potential walking locations in the vicinity.  It was a very hot and still afternoon; and, since we had lots of time to kill before heading towards Fort William, the recommendation was to head for Glen Feshie.

As well as being a great place for a walk, the area is also an impressive example of what can be achieved with "rewilding".  For many years Glen Feshie was managed as a deer forest: indeed, it was here that Edwin Landseer painted his most famous work, Monarch of the Glen.  Management in favour of the deer meant that the traditional pine woods were dwindling; but, starting in 2004, there was a concerted effort to cull the deer population and return the area to its natural state.  The absence of deer meant that Scots pine, birch and juniper saplings now had a chance to grow without being eaten, and the woodland is gradually re-populating the hillside as a result.

As with Mar Lodge, there was evidence that 2019 was going to be a bumper year for fungi.

The temperature in Glen Feshie reached the low 30s on the afternoon we visited: plenty hot enough to melt the tar in the road, as I discovered.

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