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Sunday, 18 March 2012

Wigtownshire Ramblers Millfore March 2012

Saturday the 17th of March
I'm not the healthiest of people this week. I'm still recovering from the chest infection and colds I've had this year.
I had a scare at the beginning of the week by experiencing a Posterior Vitreous Detachment 
I knew absolutely nothing about this condition, but apparently 75% of people over 65 will experience this in some form. If you are over 60, I'd suggest you look at one of these links. RNIB/PVD
Anyhow I thought I'd be ok for today's 'A' walk.

The 'Weaver's' report will follow.
Sixteen of us meet at Craigencallie

On the forest road to Loch Dee

The Black Water of Fleet towards the Silver Flowe

There's a haunted Borthwick Castle in Midlothian, I wonder if Dr Borthwick was descended from Lord Borthwick ?

Loch Dee

Black Laggan ruins

Meteorological apparatus

Ascending the Black Laggan burn

One of Black Laggan's many waterfalls

A herd of Galloway goats

Tussocks, bogs and wisps of mist

To cross or not to cross ?

Spawn and spiders

Benyellery, the Merrick, the Silver Flowe and Loch Dee
(My fitness was now proved wanting, thanks to Shorty for staying with me to the summit)

I got there though ! 
No flush bracket on the trig point

Thanks to Scoop for getting me in the picture

This is the direction that suits me better

We've another ridge to cross to reach the White Laggan burn

View of Loch Dee from the Gairy of Pulnee

Reaching the White Laggan burn, I get Billy the Honda Kid to top up my water bottle

A squelchy track to the White Laggan bothy for a coffee break, then the 3 mile forest road back to Craigencallie finishes the walk. I'm not as tired as I expected, and the tea and scones were just beautiful.

Ramblers’ walk Saturday 17th March

Spring was definitely on the way as sixteen ramblers walked along the forest road from Craigencallie, looking forward to a glorious day in the hills. The route was to take in the Black Laggan Burn and Millfore, returning via the White Laggan Burn and bothy.
The forest road to Loch Dee gave a good warm up for those unused to hill walking, passing the memorial seat dedicated to Dr. Robert Donald Borthwick of Dumfries, which is well placed for a panoramic view of the loch, with a background of the northern Galloway hills and the Silver Flowe National Nature Reserve.
The walkers turned off the forest road to examine the ruins of Black Laggan, a small shepherd’s cottage where McBain, the doyen of Galloway walking books in the early 20th century, tells us that 16 people once stayed.  A range of rain gauges were a subject of interest, used in a long study by the James Hutton Institute of Aberdeen, considering the effects of forestry and atmospheric pollution on stream water quality,  in the water catchment area of Loch Dee.
 The Black Laggan Burn was now followed upwards along a black mossy track beside the tumbling water, which periodically plunged over boulders, twisting between the steep banks and providing spectacular waterfalls, perfect excuses for resting whilst viewing.
A herd of goats stood watching from above, blending in with the cleared forest wreckage, while the company passed by, bog hopping among the tufted grasses, but enjoying the warm sunshine on this side of the burn.
Further up amongst the trees a tributary was followed which was to lead to the top of Millfore, the path now edged with the furry buds of goat willow. A lunch stop was called before the open hill was reached, beside the bubbling burn and amongst more rain collecting instruments.
Refreshed and rested, the most testing part of the walk now stretched ahead. The steep open hill provided ever widening views of the hills behind, needing frequent stops to enjoy the soft colours and scenic beauty of the landscape.
The seeds of bog asphodel, left from their starry flowering of August, contrasted nicely with new green shoots of fir clubmoss, as the walkers climbed over the often boggy and pathless ground to the cairn and ordinance survey post, marking the summit of the hill.
A wonderful panorama was spread before the eyes. There are not many summits where such a spectacular view is obtained of complete ranges of hills. In the north the Silver Flowe divides the Rhins of the Kells, with Backhill of Bush bothy standing out amongst trees, from the Dungeon range. In the north west the Merrick range stands out and behind the White Loch of Drigmorn, Curleywee and the Lamachan range are close by. The far views southwards reach from the Mull of Galloway past the Lakeland hills to the Glenkens.
After a lengthy stay in the sunshine, the return route took the walkers to a wide grassy ledge below the White Loch, skirting the boggy beginnings of the Black Laggan Burn. The ridge leading from the Gairy of Pulnee was crossed and a wet, steep descent was made to the White Laggan Burn, with a clear view of the bothy and its red door - the next target.
The burn was followed until it reached the even boggier pony track from Drigmorn to Loch Dee. Another rest was in order at the bothy, before steps were retraced along the forest road where the sunshine had opened the flowers of coltsfoot, bright yellow blooms welcoming the spring sunshine still accompanying the ramblers back to the cars.
Astonishingly, the road back to Newton Stewart was awash with sleet. The fields were white and in places deep tracks were left along the road surface. Luck had been with the ramblers on their warm sunny outing. As the usual watering places were by now closed, the company were generously invited to cream teas at a member’s home and energy was amply and deliciously replenished.
Next week, a relaxing circular coast, country road and forest walk is planned, from Glen Luce Golf Club to the Abbey. Meet for car sharing at the Breastworks, Stranraer 9.30am, the Riverside, Newton Stewart 9.00am or the walk start at the County Golf Club (NX 179 563) at 10am. For further details or if going to the start please phone walk leader 01776 840226. New members are always welcome  


  1. Wonderful images of a lovely walk and the weather looks like it was fantastic..

  2. 16 walkers on an "A" walk is very commendable. I did not know that my posterior to could reach my eyes!!

  3. Hi Jim.
    Some great pictures of the area.The silver flowe still brings me out in a cold sweat.I hope never to cross it unless its by balloon basket.
    Looks like nice spring weather down there in Galloway though, just the thing to get rid of infections with some hot sunshine at last.
    Hope your peepers stay in place for years to come as well :)
    All the best.

  4. It was a great day Andrew. The white fields coming home from the walk was a complete surprise though. We put it down as an atmospheric phenomenon.

    Apparently 'Posterior' has other meanings too Gordon.

    The Silver Flowe is cross-able Bob, Just better to wait for a long dry spell though. The Brishie Bog area is the wettest I believe. Off to see the Ophthalmologist tomorrow. I think I'll be ok.

    Thanks for visiting Rose.

  5. your rolling landscapes are wonderful
    and the shots with people are also lovely. i often feel that if people are out enjoying nature the world will be a good place to be.

  6. My great grandmother was born at Black Laggan in 1913, as was her great grandfather in 1818. Great pics! Fantastic to see!


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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