IN TORRIDON WE TRUST
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
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