No wwoofers around at the moment, so I’m on a one-woman mission to clear rhodies from areas we want clear, behind the tannery, along the avenues, and by the boathouse (which has grand plans for it). Since the introduction of R. ponticum in 1763 it has spread widely across Scotland but particularly loves the acidic soils of the west. Unluckily for us the rate of expansion has actually increased in the last 50 years probably due to disturbance with forestry operations, a decline in rabbits and reduction in grazing. Although a rhododendron eradication plan has been seriously considered at Torrisdale, this is on hold until we can be sure the grant scheme is sufficient and appropriate considering the extent of coverage. Of course it would be extremely beneficial if many or all landowners across Kintyre were to embark on a clearance scheme at the same time, and fingers crossed, with some cooperation and communication this might happen in the not too distant future. 

Imagine, if all the ponticum was cleared from Kintyre we would see a return of the native plant communities including beautiful wild flowers, mosses and liverworts as well as the associated insect and bird communities. It would also make it possible to make full use of our Right To Roam and explore many wooded areas especially along the east coast that are currently choked by this voracious green plant. 

While I was clearing some rhody I uncovered this unusual looking fungi, which I think is White Saddle, a relative of the morels but unlike the morels is autumn-fruiting. Image

I didn’t take it home for lunch. 

On a very autumnal feeling day (leaves are turning already) spent the afternoon burning. Lovely light coming through the smoke…






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