A Sense Of Seren­ity

Nick Drainey takes a stroll in the beau­ti­ful, un­du­lat­ing Ochil Hills

The Scots Magazine - - Take A Hike -

TUCKED away in the mid­dle of the Ochils is one of the most calm­ing places in Scot­land. Nes­tled high up be­tween Tar­mangie and Scad Hills, a grassy bealach has just enough of a panorama to see plenty of the sur­round­ing high ground but not so much that the in­tru­sions of peo­ple – save an old fence – blight the view.

A fine way to get there is to walk through Glen Sherup, some­where that has changed quite a bit since the turn of the cen­tury. Begin­ning in 2000 the north­ern slopes, along with oth­ers in the neigh­bour­ing Glen Quey, have been planted with 1.5 mil­lion na­tive trees planted, in­clud­ing oak, birch, rowan, ash, hazel, Scots pine and ju­niper.

The wood­land is now flour­ish­ing and be­com­ing a home to wildlife. Above, short-eared owls and kestrels hunt for prey. The reser­voirs in the area are also a source of food for ospreys be­tween April and Septem­ber.

Yes, the wood­land is not ex­actly nat­u­ral, like the reser­voirs, but it is not nearly as in­tru­sive as what lies on the other side of the glen – a great swathe of forestry.

On an au­tumn morn­ing, not only was the sound of felling un­wel­come but the sight of old and new conifers, as well as clear-felled sec­tions, some­what can­celled out the work of the Wood­land Trust in plant­ing na­tive species.

In March this year, forestry was fully de­volved to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment. That means the Gov­ern­ment can plan where new forestry, needed eco­nom­i­cally and help­ful in re­duc­ing CO2, will be. Surely the sort of jux­ta­po­si­tion to be seen in the Ochils will no longer hap­pen?

So far noth­ing from the cur­rent Holy­rood ad­min­is­tra­tion sug­gests that to be the case – but with a lit­tle ef­fort maybe things will change.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment also has power over wind tur­bines which are scat­tered across the Ochils. Again, they are needed – but why to the detri­ment of such a beau­ti­ful

Glen Sherup reser­voir pro­vides food for ospreys

White­whisp Hill from the top of Tar­mangie Hill Length: 13km (8 miles)Height gained: 490m (1600ft)Time: 4 to 5 hours OS Lan­dranger 58Park­ing: Drive about 2.4km (1½ miles) west of Glen­de­von vil­lage on the A823 to the Forestry Com­mis­sion’s Glen Sherup car park, on the left.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.