Thursday, 24 December 2009

Winter Wonderland at Seafield

Visitors often ask if there will be lots of snow at Christmas and usually my answer is ‘probably not’. Typical Argyll festive seasons have been wet, windy, mild and green but this year has proved the exception and we have a covering of snow and thick frost. It is stunningly beautiful and the monochrome snowy scenes of the day have given way to stunningly colourful sunsets. The one year that we could have provided the perfect Scottish white Christmas for our visitors, we decided to have a break and leave the cottages empty until New Year.

The weather is not without it’s challenges, with frozen water supplies and icy roads to contend with. Bundles of willow which should have been baskets by now are frozen in the soaking tank and will take days to thaw when the temperatures rise. Fortunately we have plenty of firewood to keep us warm and cosy in the house.

We continue to keep an eye on the beavers. Both families have built lodges and stored winter supplies of food underwater. Coming from Norway, the cold weather will not cause a problem for them. The tree felling activity has increased in recent months and hundreds of trees have now been felled and many will die through being flooded. While this may create habitats for some flora and fauna, it will undoubtedly displace others. If the damage to the woodland had been caused by humans, it would be called vandalism; because it is done by a wild creature, it is considered beneficial. With a landscape covered in Sitka Spruce, it is nonsense to laud the environmental benefits of opening up the canopy in tiny areas of scrubby woodland.

We wish all our visitors a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Knapdale Beavers in Observer Magazine

The beaver debate got an airing in the Observer Magazine on Sunday 6 December. To read the article, copy the link into your web browser