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

Beautiful day yesterday and saturday come to think of it. There is a change in the weather this week but it is still bearable. The sunday lunch shift was full on and every flag was in use. We use the flags as table markers for the prep staff to take the food to. The inn is starting to get flags in the post from visitors who have noticed that their flags are not represented in Applecross. A sign of a smaller world. Seventy years ago a traveller from the other end of Europe visiting Applecross would have been treated as an event, now we get 50 visitors from different countries in a day.

Had to take a break and nip outside with Dougal to enjoy the sun dipping behind the north end Raasay and Skye. You just cannot get used to these light shows. I have been here for 30 years now and they are still awesome to me.

Another student has arrived to have a look at what is happening in Applecross and use it as part of her post grad thesis. It does seem since the Community Company has been formed there is a perception that something is happening here and we are trying to do something on a community level. In the past when almost every house was lived in and most of the crofters were working their crofts there was a natural sense of community, necessary in most cases. Amy is looking at the landscape and how we live within it and value it probably more from a cultural view-point. After walking up to Tor Mor with Alison she stopped off for a cup of tea and a chat. Planning a day on the boat next week when the good weather returns for a different view on things. As always we had a good natter about lots of stuff. I always wonder why we cannot marry technology with a good quality of life growing your own food, having time to appreciate what is around you. We still seem to live in a world of ever-increasing speed and acquisition. Food and the cost of quality food always comes up in these type of rambles. Always cutting the costs of production for profit inevitably means that the quality of what you eat is affected. Buy cheap trawled prawns to find out what I mean.On the way up the road on friday there was another example of the strange way we live now. I had a photo of my neighbour carrying out bracken control on his own croft by cutting hay and also encouraging a wild flower meadow, all on a very small-scale. This is how we control bracken now… by helicopter spraying a herbicide.

Do not have a strong opinion on the rights and wrongs of the actual chemical sprayed but think it is a misuse of valuable energy and the old way did work. It is only since the decline of working crofts that bracken has mushroomed here and surely the way ahead is to resurrect some of the old practices that worked. I was asked on thursday why I wanted to have bees and I could only say that it was something to redress the balance of decline I have seen in the last 30 years and as I have not worked my croft properly over that time feel a sense of contributing to the decline. I do not think the use of helicopters has any place in shaping our landscape.

Comments on: "Flags,landscape, students and another sunset." (2)

  1. Who pays for the helicopter? And as a matter of interest, what was the “old way” of controlling bracken – how does it work?

  2. applecrosslifeattheedge said:

    Public purse Niel as it is part of the ALPS project. Funded by the lottery and Europe. The previous generations would never have let bracken encroach on good grazing ground and also they used it for bedding. They would have cut what they wanted and break the fronds that they did not use. Three years of breaking prevents spread although it never gets rid of it . Seems bracken is pre historic survivor. I have used it in my raised beds and for composting. It breaks up the ground and although I do not know its make up it is supposed to be good on the compost heap.

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