The Woodlands around us are so beautiful to explore .. we are in the midst of the Atlantic Rain forest, we have ancient plantations, we have new young woods, nature reserves and old estates.
Around the house is my new planting - when I first came to Kintaline over 30 years ago there was just old pasture to the sea, but I have increased the habitat, encouraging the native species to regenerate, and planted lots more. Mum loved her garden and the mature cottage wraparound space is alive with nature, food plants, flowers, shrubs and trees.
Beyond is my 24 acres of Kintaline farm, which has been very busy in the past, but now is mostly feral and fallow, with my young tree planting copses maturing nicely, more are planned as the soils build, the pastures regenerate, the species diversity grows.
There are plenty of easy walks from the house, to explore the mature woods on Ardbhattan point by the shores of Ardmucknish bay; or along to the South Shian woods nature reserve; beyond to circumnavigate the Isle of Eriska, and the lovely young wood at Dalintober that take you to the shore walk around Loch Creran.
- Whilst visiting Oban the Dunollie woods are well worth exploring - recently taken over by The Woodland Trust it is a wonderful example of Scotland’s rainforest.
Hazel trees drip with rare lichens, mosses and fungi, bluebells carpet the woodland floor in spring, and the view over Oban Bay to the isles is something special. Take a stroll along the woodland edge path to Dunollie Castle, historic seat of Clan MacDougall.
The next village to the north of us is Barcaldine and there is a lovely woodland walk just on the further side of the village called Sutherlands Grove : part of the lands of the ancient Campbell of Barcaldine estate lands sold to the forestry commission in the early 1900s. You can walk along wide forestry tracks, having had an initial steeper walk alongside the small river, and thence up to the Resevoir.
by the car park are easy flat walks through massive ancient trees carpeted in bluebells and wild garlic. Several seats provide the perfect spots to rest and reflect.
Towards Taynuilt to the east is the popular Fernoch Forest with its unique wood ant population.
Further East is the ancient oak woods of Loch Aweside
to the south are the Ballachuan Rainforest woods most famous for the very rare Hazel gloves lichens.