In the fifty years of its stew­ard­ship The Na­tional Trust for Scot­land has se­cured the wild heart of this Wester Ross land­scape, ward­ing off wind farms and suc­cess­fully man­ag­ing a grow­ing num­ber of visi­tors while also nur­tur­ing flora and fauna, says Polly

Scottish Field - - CONTENTS -

Cel­e­brat­ing 50 years of The Na­tional Trust for Scot­land's stew­ard­ship of Torridon in Wester Ross

Tor­ri­donI and the sur­round­ing area of tester ooss has some of the most un­sur­passed scenery in the Bri­tish fsles. iit­tle won­der that for gen­er­a­tions it has been a mag­net for walk­ersI moun­taineers and those with a pas­sion for all that rep­re­sents truly wild pcot­land.

ft was here too on Beinn bighe that the rh’s fiUsW NDWLRnDO NDWuUe Re­seUve wDs PDde Ln 1951, UecRgnLsed IRU LWs unLque KDELWDWs, flRUD Dnd IDunD, and the frag­ile ag­ing Cale­do­nian pine for­est on LWs nRUWKeUn sORSes RveUORRkLng LRcK MDUee. TKe area is rife with im­por­tant des­ig­na­tions in­clud­ing SSecLDO SLWes RI ScLenWLfic ,nWeUesW (SSS,’s) Dnd SSecLDO AUeDs RI CRnseUvDWLRn (SAC’s).

TKe cRPELnDWLRn RI ceUWDLn nuWULenW deficLencLes Dnd D PDULWLPe cOLPDWe SURvLde D SeUIecW en­vLURnPenW IRU D KRsW RI UDUe EUyRSKyWes, PRsses, OLveUwRUWs Dnd OLcKens. ,n WKe sWeeS EuUn flDnks, sDIe IURP gUDzLng DnLPDOs, scUuE wRRdODnd WKULves, and in­cludes pros­trate ju­niperI wil­lowI rowanI hazelI birch and oak. , fiUsW vLsLWed TRUULdRn wKen , wDs nLne yeDUs ROd. My EuUgeRnLng ORve IRU wLOd SODces KDd Eeen forged in Ard­na­mur­chan. pent away to a board­ing school f hated in merthshireI f be­friended a girl with sim­i­lar in­ter­ests whose par­ents owned the LRcK TRUULdRn HRWeO. SKe Ln­vLWed Pe WR sWDy, and all f re­mem­ber of that in­au­gu­ral foray as we dURve dRwn GOen TRUULdRn wDs WKe gUDn­deuU Dnd aus­ter­ity of the great tow­er­ing rocky bas­tions that en­guOIed us, WKeLU veUWLgLnRus suPPLWs swDWKed Ln EURRdLng gUey cORud. EveUyWKLng DURund Pe seemed on an­other scale al­to­gether. ln the loch shore next morn­ingI f stood on sheep cropped turf star­ing in awe at the sur­round­ing moun­tains.

ft would be a few years later when in my teens Dnd UeOLsKLng D new scKRRO, Dnd LWs vDULed RuWwDUd ERund DcWLvLWLes, WKDW , cDPe WR knRw TRUULdRn D lit­tle bet­terI for it was a fre­quent des­ti­na­tion for our auke of bd­in­burgh Award ex­pe­di­tions.

te cut our moun­taineer­ing teeth on its wind­scoured ridgesI puffed our way to the sum­mits to LnKDOe DcKLngOy EeDuWLIuO vLews, RU SeUKDSs sDw noth­ing through mist as thick as soupI but the ef­fect it had on us was im­mea­sur­able. te ex­pe­ri­enced grey griz­zled screesI and the knife-edge spine of Beinn bigheI the great castel­lated ram­parts and sSUDwOLng EDck­ERne RI WKe DUeD’s KLgKesW MunUR, LLDWKDcK, Dnd WKen WKe exWUDRUdLnDUy HRUns RI Beinn Al­lig­inI and its ter­ri­fy­ingly mys­te­ri­ous bag DuEK, D EODck gDSLng wRund RI D cOeIW ULven EeWween

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