A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

Wood musings

Spent the afternoon in one of the plantations up the glen and hauled out loads of wood for the stove. It was wood cut during a chain saw training course 4/5 months ago and should be dry enough to burn. Borrow the Inn pickup and deliver a load there as well. Looking at the forecast for next week it looks as though there will be plenty of time to get this sorted. Over the last couple of years we have really concentrated on burning wood as opposed to coal, works on a carbon footprint and cost level. Bought a ton of coal chips a year last september and still have about half left. At £17 a bag of coal it is well worth the effort.

Through the efforts of the Community Company Ian is now supplying wood for a number of residents. This is a new venture and seems to be working well as his main problem is fulfilling his order book.There is not a lot of money to be made but this was known at the start of Ian’s venture. This is all part of the CCo efforts in reducing the footprint of the community and there does seem to be a mind set change under way as you see lots of piles of logs outside houses now. Lots of different opinions on what to burn. Some don’t touch soft wood but only burn birch,beech or ash. Personally spruce and larch do just as well even if you have to use a bit more.

The plantations on the estate are in a mess as they have not been managed from the day they were planted in the 60s. There are various plans to solve the problem but the economics do not add up. There was very little forward thinking when they were planted for instance their inaccessibility. It would be good to get a planting regime under way for future local use and environmental reasons. If access for local use was fully extended then it would be worthwhile residents converting from fossil fuel to wood burning.

Comments on: "Wood musings" (4)

  1. i’ve at the beginning and am reading all the way thru. i’m a great fan of your neighbor across the minch, or wench, or whatever you call it, paul camilli of Life at the End of the Road at arnish/raasay. is the wind worse at applecross than on raasay?

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      I have read Paul’s blog off and on over the last year and recently become an email follower. My first fishing boat went to Raasay,and it had an unsuccessful career before Paul bought it. I am pretty sure I will meet him sometime as I am occasionally on the island as my wife, Alison, used to work for Raasay Community Company. The stretch of water that separates us is called The Inner Sound and is 8 miles across at its widest. Wind wise we probably get much the same although Paul is a bit more exposed on the North end of the island.

  2. and, why would the plantations have been so badly managed? that seems crazy.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      It is easy in hindsight to knock decisions made 50 years ago but little thought was put into the plantations other than planting them for tax relief. Unfortunately little was done in the way of managing them, partly because the landowner was absentee, as now, and seemed more interested in the management of the red deer numbers on the hill.

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