Expedition 68 - 27th October 2001

We had eight explorers: Amie MacM., Iain, Jack, JD, John Don., Kathryn, Lucy and Robert, with Ann, Craig and Sandra as helpers. No dogs this time.

We started from the bottom of the Camusaine track and walked up to the Alder plantation where everyone looked at the way the trees had been coppiced, i.e. cut at the base to make them branch out and produce poles. John showed them how alders normally produce lots of small branches but the old trunks were plain and wide at the base showing the wood had been grazed by cattle in the past.
Everyone also stopped to look at some iron fence posts with curved supports which had been made by James Cameron of Clovullin, Ardgour over a hundred years before.

We carried on up the hill pausing to see and old dead pollard oak and some old stone walling used to confine cattle.
The expedition made a slight detour off the path to look into the deep gorge in which the waterfall was only just visible, since there were still a lot of leaves on the trees. After this many of the explorers visited the stream to fill water bottles and, in some instances, squirt water at each other.

Then we took the right hand track and walked up to the site of an old settlement and John told how there had once been a big fire in the woods here caused by a workman dropping a bucket of burning peat - there were no matches then and it was easier to carry fire than light a new fire.

At the top of the hill we stopped for a snack and a photograph, taken by Amie, and looked at a fenced enclosure put up to examine the effects of deer on the vegetation. Finally we came down the hill and crossed an old pasture before returning to the road. Everyone then adjourned to the Ariundle Centre for drinks and food.

The Pictures

Although the expedition saw quite a few interesting things, there was a Sot of shouting and throwing water at various stages; Lucy and JD concentrated on this and John Donaldson showed JD and Lucy at the stream. Sain showed a coppiced alder with all the shoots sprouting up and also Robert with the pipe he was going to use at Hallowe'en. Robert did a sketch of a few items of interest, Jack showed a coppiced tree, Amie showed people posing for the photograph and Kathryn, who appeared to have been listening more than most, drew two of James Cameron's fence posts, the stream and a divided oak growing from an old coppice.
John Dye


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