Enchanted: Glen Grudie

DSCN6904One afternoon last week, the breeze was up and the midges hiding, so we seized the day and headed off for a walk up through my favourite glen – Glen Grudie.

I posted about this enchanted place last year, but couldn’t resist adding this more current one, when I learned of the impending Hydro-electric scheme, which has had the green light to go ahead here later this year.

DSCN6732As we set off along the stalkers’ track, the shifting clouds cast dramatic, shifting shadows along the slopes of Slioch, above Loch Maree.

DSCN6772 DSCN6793At the other end of the glen, the Torridon hills appeared even more brooding, smouldering, in the upper mists.

DSCN6801 DSCN6805We stopped along the way for a picnic lunch, to catch our breath, take in the view and have fun with a bit of ‘rock stacking’.

DSCN6828 DSCN6843 DSCN6845Finally, having descended for what seemed ages across the wide and steep expanse of bog myrtle, heather, mosses and bracken we reached the river.

Unlike last year, when the water meandered along through calm, toe-dipping rockpools, this river was a raging torrent. It had been raining for a few days and I suppose it should have come as no surprise, but I was disappointed that our water-loving Chesapeake Retriever had to be kept back from the edges – so frustrating for her!

DSCN6905 DSCN6907This magical glen is in the middle of a designated National Scenic Area, only a few kilometers from the Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve and the trees along the river are designated Ancient Woodland (pre-1750), remnants of the ancient Caledonian forest. They’re home to many rare and protected species.

I’m astonished that this scheme was allowed to go ahead!

DSCN6908 DSCN6910 DSCN6916 DSCN6857 DSCN6863On a day like this, it was easy to see how a Hydro scheme will produce power with the sheer force of this water (the photos don’t really do it justice) and yes, we do need to find new sources of renewable energy, but surely not in such a unique, pristine and magical environment.

Fingers are crossed that it won’t be too disruptive to the river valley, when the pipeline is buried alongside the river, from just above where we were, all the way to the lower reaches, before it enters Loch Maree.

I’ll be back again in a few months to have a look, without a doubt.

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Back down at the road, heading to the car – a breathtaking view of Slioch as it rises above the ancient pines at Bridge of Grudie.

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6 thoughts on “Enchanted: Glen Grudie

  1. More awe from here. Please do keep telling us of planned hydro-electric alterations ….. Also, please tell me what those other-worldly tree shapes are? Like something out of a fairy tale … or out of Africa, with their canopies so isolated at the top of bent trunks. Thank you and your camera, Alison. Thank you. x

    1. Thank you so much Val! These are the ancient Scots pine I mention – the elements are so brutal, the winds so fierce up in the north-west, they’ve adapted and contorted in their struggle to survive over the centuries. It’s a miracle, I think, that they’re still there!

  2. Beautiful Alison. I’m with you on the hydro scheme – but at least it is not wind turbines (I hope)…

    1. Thanks, Julie – Scotland is really pushing for the search/development of renewable energy in a big way, which is great and there are these schemes popping up everywhere – including turbines, which I don’t actually mind. But I think they have to be more careful and judicious about where they allow them. Is it the same around where you live?

    1. Thanks for your lovely comments Annie – it is such a magical, special place, isn’t it? Fingers crossed they do this scheme sensitively and with as little disruption as possible!

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