Wednesday, 31 December 2014
The Earn- the heron and a precious stone
One of the benefits and joys of living in Strathearn is its wonderful choice of walks . Walks to suit all participants . Hill walkers can access the peaks above Loch Turret with ease whilst those older members of the community can choose from a superb variety of pleasant but non demanding rambles in some of Scotland’s most beautiful countryside . Recognised paths are clearly sign posted and rights of way are protected under the auspices of the local Council . The last few decades have seen a network of long distance walks and paths established across Scotland – the best known in all probability being the West Highland Way stretching from Milngavie ( pronounced Mul – guy !! ) just north of Glasgow , all the way to Fort William at the fooft of Ben Nevis , our highest peak .Local writer , publisher and out door enthusiast Felicity Martin wrote recently in Facebook :
“ Super walk today from St Fillans on Loch Earn in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park to Comrie. We were checking the route for the Three Saints Way, a pilgrim route planned from Killin (and eventually Iona) to St Andrews. Today's walk largely followed Day 6 of the Clan Ring, which I researched and wrote up earlier in 2014 for Breadalbane Tourism Co-operative”
There are a number of useful web sites which describe and evaluate the many walks in and around Strathearn . The annual Drovers Tryst ( pronounced Try-st not Trist ) lists the many walking and social events that this annual Crieff based festival arranges in the month of October . The Walk Highland will list the suitability level for a wide variety of walks in this area . Last but certainly not least is Martin Forsyth’s Crieff based Wandern Schottland which provides outdoor holidays for Germans wishing to visit Scotland .
The heron has been around the wilds of Scotland for many centuries . In the far off Middle Ages the bird came close to extinction .Our ancestors regarded the heron as a bird of sport and it was pursued relentlessly by huntsmen with hawk or falcon . This majestic bird was oft regarded as a fine delicacy and many a laird of the day offered his guests this bird on a plate . We know from history that the conservation policies of the Scottish Parliament were not the born of the “ Green Revolution “ but existed a way back over four centuries ago . In 1600 ,at the instigation of James VI ( James I of Great Britain ) , they passed an Act which stated :
“ The slaughter of herons having been so frequent and common these diverse years within the Carse of Gowrie , Fife , Strathearn and other places thereabout , that few or none are left in the said bounds . A small number have begun to build their nests in the King’s park of Falkland and his Majesty being desirous to have them increase and multiply has ordered that the slaughter of these birds be forbidden in all the countryside adjacent . To this end , there is an Order to inhibit all persons from shooting, slaying or taking any herons from the bounds of Fife , Kinross shire , the Carse of Gowrie , Strathearn from Comrie east upon the Earn and at Kilbuck ( Kinbuck ) east upon the Allan for a period of three years after the date thereof . This under pain of imprisonment for one year for the first offence and banishment from the country for the second fault “