Saturday, 14 January 2017

There be giants!

I wandered along a Forest Commission track on Arran on a particulary fine, sunny New Year's Day. A flock of bullfinches called softly from a bush and a woodcock sloughed itself up off the leaf-strewn bank at my feet. I was out giant hunting in the marvellous Merkland Woods. Lying off the west coast of central Scotland is the magnificent isle of Arran. And on Arran's eastern shore just north of the town of Brodick and close to Brodick Castle is this area of fine old woodland full of great oaks, beech, birch and towering Scot's pines. A muckle Silver Fir at the road end planted in 1780 gives a hint of the planting scheme back then and it is likely that the Scot's pines, or Scot's furr's or Scot's firs were from the 1806-07 planting. The scale of those plantings is quite something and the pines accounted for 20% or 28,000 of the 131,000 trees planted in that period (a big thanks to Andy Walker of FCS). I headed into the forest following a sign that said Giants Trail and found these....