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Monday, 17 March 2008

Wigtownshire Ramblers-Wood of Cree

Saturday March the fifteenth,and todays walk is through the RSPB reserve of the Wood of Cree up to Loch Middle.The Wood of Cree,thought to date back over 5000 years to the last ice age,is the largest remaining ancient woodland in southern Scotland. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife and particular specialities are pied flycatcher,redstart and wood warbler.
A misunderstanding about walk start times,meant some walkers being an hour early,including myself.I used this time to take a steady drive up to Clachaneasy and to take pictures of the Cree and the Water of Minnoch.
I also had time to stop at the highest waterfall in the Wood of Cree which would feature towards the end of todays walk.

These falls are really magnificent when there's been lots of rain,but can also be a very disappointing trickle at other times.I am led to believe that this particular waterfall has no name other than being known like so many others as the Grey Mare's Tail.If anyone knows any different i'd love to know.
The start is at the Wood of Cree car park.Sixteen or seventeen walkers today.

The weather forecast wasn't good for today,but everyone was in grand spirits and somehow the rain stayed away.
The first part of the walk took us through the Wood of Cree,following the Cordorcan Burn with its lovely cascading waterfalls.
I put a video of these on Youtube some time ago-it's called 'Cascades' and is at
Youtube's video conversion never does my clips any justice,poor as they may be.A new sharing site-Vimeo-allows uploading of high definition video,and that may be where my clips will go eventually-but i digress-back to todays walk.

Some more new faces to me today,others i'm coming to know quite well.It's not only a healthy walk,but also a social gathering of like minded individuals.

This wood display tells us that there is Oak,Birch,Rowan,Wych Elm,Ash,Beech and Sitka Spruce,the latter being named after a City and Borough of Alaska.
There are lots of informative notices about the birds,insects,the flora and fauna scattered throughout the wood.

Were soon at the top end of the Wood of Cree and into the coniferous forest.

Much of the walk now is on forestry roads,built for timber traffic.There is wildlife in these forests,but they dont come out to greet us.A fellow walker points out a buzzard,but with this exception and a few small birds not much else was spotted.At least not by me.Perhaps some of the keener eyed walkers spotted more.

We reach Loch Middle it's name begging the question from some 'Why are there no Lochs Upper and Lower'.
This is a public water supply loch.My neighbour,a retired water board worker recounts that one of his favourite tasks was an inspection of the perimeter of Loch Middle.His words were'A braw walk and i was gettin pide as weel'
Lunch was taken at the Loch shore.

And all too soon it's time to go again.

Why,asks a regular senior walker,do they cut down trees and allow them to rot.

Retracing our steps now we come to what was once a substantial abode at Cordorcan complete with sundial.Our walk leader has acquired a map of how it looked back in the 1800's.The sundial wasn't found,but it is thought that this box hedge dates back to the 19th century.

One good thing about creepers-they keep walls standing.

Now were back into the Wood of Cree....

....and this blogs author keeps clicking.

Now we've reached the viewpoint above the 'Grey Mares Tail'and time out to enjoy the views over the Cree valley.

The last stretch back to the carpark and the walk's finished.
A very enjoyable walk,which may have lacked the scenic views of other walks,but made up by some excellent discourse.

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