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

Watching “the local road men” on ch5 just now and have to say its very entertaining. Yesterday was another windy day and it turned out there was little damage reported from the previous evening. All cars and people are now in their rightful places. Took a couple of photos from Milton Pier and the sea was still pretty restless.

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Bit of variety today and started meeting with Jess about reseeding my croft with species rich grasslands, creating a meadow of wildflowers and hedging the area. I have mixed feelings about this as I remember well coming over here in the sixties and the whole of Applecross was covered in such hay meadows. This was a time when most crofts were worked and had animals on the ground. The difference then was the grounds were better managed on a community level and the animals went to the hill in the summer and there were no deer on the croft ground either. The inbye croft ground was closed off and left to grow for a hay crop.I remember the last year the gates were shut to keep the stock off in the 1980s the north end of the crofts was covered in a yellow mass of marsh marigolds. Had an elderly crofter tell me there were bees kept here then and when they scythed the hay they kept disturbing the bees feeding on the flowers. Now there is public money put to get the environment back to the way it was when it was worked properly. The problem has arisen where people are no longer prepared to pay a proper price for well reared food but go for mass-produced rubbish,devoid of nutrients, but is cheap. The hidden cost is this money that is now being spent to correct the previously healthy environment.

From this meeting it was off up to the Filling Station to reboot it again, Sean had already done 3 reboots, and finally got it going. We are approaching crisis point with our manufacturer as the system is crashing more regularly just now and we are looking for ways out of this problem. Picked up a load from our charity bin and took it over to the drop off point in Lochcarron then on to Strathcarron to meet up with Community Councillors, HC Councillors and officials to discuss the thorny problem of the StromeFerry ByPass. The process is long slow and painful but one seemingly we all have to go through. Every single option has to be examined and it is quite tedious at times even if you do know it is necessary. The language is sprinkled with lots of anachronisms such as STAGS and SMART objectives, measurability, options, bridges, tunnels, new roads and very briefly a ferry. I could not live in that world of words, budget restraints, promises, solutions etc. Escaped at 5 o’clock, got a report on how poor the weather was and glad I did not go out fishing today, seems it’s a north wind tomorrow so fishing career still on hold. Some serious gusts of wind reported on National News, 129mp on top of the Bealach and Sand reported gusts over 150mph. These trees were by the river Carron and show the power of the wind. Our tree along from Shore Street unfortunately is the one with the spectacular fungi growing out of its trunk over the last couple of years. I suppose that explains its weakness.

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Just along from the fallen tree the cattle grid is taking shape and means that deer raiding the gardens and crofts to the south of Milton will be a thing of the past, although Jess was saying there is evidence the deer are having a go at the fence from the outside and there are several bulge already from their attempts to go through it.

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Comments on: "A bit more wind and the Strome ByPass." (2)

  1. Anne Macrae said:

    Remember Camustiel being a sea of wild flowers when we were young. Johan MacKinnon would take us kids through the fields teaching us the names and properties of each one. There were lots of lovely wild orchids. The old stone dyke round the village was maintained well with a cattle grid at each end so gardens and crofts able to survive uneaten.
    Even though Laxdale Hall is in black & white you can see all the wild flowers growing in the field opposite the school then.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Including me there are probably very few people who could name a lot of the wild flowers that used to grow here. I just think it is a shame it is a little contrived the way I have to get them back in Toscaig.

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