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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Wigtownshire Ramblers Castramont October 2013

I got up feeling well under the weather and nearly decided not to walk. As I usually do I decided the walk would probably do me good so I went. Back home I went to bed at just after 8.30 pm and 12 hours later I woke at 7.30 am (clocks went back an hour). I guess it,s a bug of some sort. Feeling a bit better today.
Saturday the 26th of October 2013.
Today's walk leader is the Milkmaid with the Weaver as her back up.
We meet up at Castramon(t) woods for the walk start.
The question is do we call it Castramon, Castramont, Carstramon or Carstramont. Our leaders made the enquiry to the estate owner who say that the O.S map and other sources are wrong in their spelling, the correct one is Castramont. On a google search count Castramon wins the single word contest with 19,800, while Castramont hits 8680, Carstramon comes last. Yet put in 'House' after 'Castramont' and that wins with 20,400 hits.
I hope that clears up the confusion. ! Stop laughing now.  
There are twenty of us out today, the forecast is for rain in the early afternoon.

We set off road walking towards Rusco.

We were intrigued by the 'Dome of silence' sign. With a little bit of internet sleuthing I found it on the Environmental Art Festival Scotland website. It's by the Japanese artist, Ueno Masao.

Twins ?

After passing Nether Rusco we join the Gatehouse Station road. 
Rusco Castle dates back to the 16th Century.
Here's an interesting account of communication between Samuel Rutherford and John Gordon of Rusco

A noisy hound keeps guard at the castle gate.

The women outnumber the men today.

Scoop is out walking today. So, I get in the picture.
From here we head down to the Big Water of Fleet and join the riverside path.

The new hut beside this stream will be installed with a hydro electric generator. Well done to the estate owners, you'd think that with the rainfall we get in Scotland more of this technology wasn't in use.

I get snapped again by Scoop, that's the Milkmaid on the left.

My book tells me this is panaeolus sphinctrinus. Now how did it get that name I wonder ?

A dodgy bit of riverbank to negotiate.

The next set of pictures were all taken at the same location.........
...........the waterfall at Pool Ness

There's quite a flow of water tumbling.

Our walkers seem to be enjoying it.

Looks like I'm not the only one taking lots of pictures.

This is another of Scoops................ are these.

After quite a long look at the waterfall we make our way back up to the tarmac road at Upper Rusco.

To the northwest is Cairnsmore of Fleet with it's cap on.

Heading back towards Gatehouse we plough through some overgrown vegetation to again reach the river. 
Spot the walker trying to make a getaway.

The Big and Little Water join at Aikyhill meandering through the countryside to become simply the Water of Fleet. We too meander !

There's been a reason for a lack of rucksacks on the walk.........

...................................It's because we're having lunch back at the cars. 
I really shouldn't take pictures of people eating their lunches, but I think I can get away with this selection.

After lunch it looked like the forecast rain had arrived. We were lucky it was short lived. Now we were walking a circuit of the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Carstramon Woods (well that's the way the Wildlife Trust have spelled it)

Here's a puffball.

A collage from Scoop is the last image of this post.
Back at the cars, we headed down to the Galloway Lodge cafe for refreshments.
A very enjoyable walk considering the way I felt.

I'll publish the Milkmaid's report here when I get a copy.
.....and here it is.
Fleet Valley Walk
Saturday the 26th of October 2013.
On Saturday, 20 ramblers met at the Castramont wood parking area for a 7.5 mile walk in the Fleet Valley. The weather was warm but rain was forecast.
The walk was split into two halves with lunch back at the car park. The party donned waterproofs and set off, crossing the Fleet over the weak bridge under which lay a tree which appeared to have been uprooted during the recent wet weather. Rusko Castle which dates back to the 15th century was admired, and the Green Wood, which runs along the Big Water of Fleet, was soon reached. Here the walkers followed a well-made up path through deciduous and more recently planted coniferous woodland.  Bracken was turning reddish brown and starting to die back. The deciduous leaves were beginning to turn red and gold but it was felt they had not yet reached the peak of autumn splendour. 
 Along the river a heron was disturbed. It flew further down the river before looping back and disappearing across the other side.  
A stop was made to investigate the site of a new hydro generator system being installed by Rusko Estates to provide green electricity to Upper Rusko.  
Continuing down the riverside the Pool of Ness was sighted. The waterfall here was made spectacular by the recent heavy rain with peaty brown water and lots of foam. The group paused to admire and photograph the scene.  An inscription on a rock here states that grayling were added to the Fleet on the 22nd September 1870. Today this river is better known for its trout fishing.
A short walk uphill brought the walkers to the road leading to Gatehouse Station. From here views over the Fleet Valley, the Clints of Dromore and Cairnsmore of Fleet were enjoyed.  The road was followed back to Upper Rusko where the Green Wood could be re-entered. The Big Water of Fleet was then followed back towards the car park through low lying pasture. Here a high water line was visible denoting the recent flood levels. A red kite was spotted and a lone fisherman was disturbed. After re-crossing the weak bridge the hungry ramblers enjoyed lunch on a grassy bank by their cars.
With rain threatening a quick circular of Castramont woods was undertaken. Puffball toadstools emerged through fallen leaves coating the ground and the circular stands of gnarled ancient beech trees looked spectacular in their autumn clothing. Unfortunately the ‘Dome of Silence’ a bamboo and willow construction, by Japanese sculptor, Ueno Masao was not discovered.  Luckily the walk was finished and the company were enjoying tea and scones in the Galloway Lodge before the forecast rain began.
The next walk on Saturday the 2nd of November is an 8.5 mile circular walk over Barony Hill. Meet for car sharing at the Riverside, Newton Stewart and Stranraer Breastworks at 9.00am, or the walk start at Dailly Square War Memorial (NS270016) at 10am. New members are always welcome but must contact the walk leader on 01465 712180.


  1. wonderful to take a walk with all of you.

    your autumn colors are a joy to see.

    i agree with you, be careful about eating mushrooms from the wild.

    But i do love hunting them with my eyes and camera!

  2. How beautiful!!! Your photos are gorgeous! This would be a would I would thoroughly enjoy!

  3. Always like the yellow larch trees at this time of year. They really make photographs zing. Hope you are feeling better now Jim.

  4. There is some lovely colours in your photos Jim. Hope you are feeling better.


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