Tank traps in Lossie Wood

An east:west split for the weather forecast- rain in the west and sun in the east – saw us heading to Elgin with our bikes strapped to the back of the car for a wee spin on the minor roads

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

We headed north-east from Elgin along a minor road I remembered from running the 10K race there a few months ago. We followed the road to Arthur’s Bridge at the edge of Lossie Woods – Grid ref NJ 256670. Our aim was to look for the tank traps in the woods and by following the main track north towards the sea we soon found these large structures. We’ve come across WW2 relics in the countryside before, and especially along the Moray coast, but these are very unusual in that they are intact and completely surrounded by trees.

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

According to the Defence of Scotland Project (http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/archaeology/projects/defence.pdf)
The man responsible for the Coastal defences in the north east of Scotland during World War 2 was Chief Royal Engineer G.A.Mitchel. (1896-1964). It had been noted that during 1938, that the Graf Zepplin photographed the northeast Scottish coast in great detail in preparation for a possible future invasion. Other German aircraft had also been seen photographing the coast around north east Scotland. Mitchell thought it highly likely that this area would be an ideal site for a beach landing invasion force by the German army, due to its sandy beaches and good communications.

Elsewhere these large concrete structures were removed and indeed following the war, they was a bounty paid for farmers to remove these from prime cultivation land. But these here are among the sand dunes which subsequently were planted with pines by the Forestry Commission.

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

As well as the line of anti-tank traps are hexangular pill boexs. This one of which was in great condition. The concrete was intact.

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

Returning through the forest we followed the Innes Canal. This short canal, like the nearby Spynie Canal, was constructed to drain the low-lying farmland between Lossiemouth and Speymouth. It as engineered in 1812 by Thomas Telford at the request of local landowners.

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

We were dismayed to see the canal side completely dominated by giant hogweed. Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) was introduced into the UK in the 1800’s as an ornamental garden plant. However it has now become naturalised in many river catchments across Scotland. As with most invasive species Giant hogweed is capable of out-competing and dominating native plant species to the detriment of native biodiversity. Giant hogweed also presents a serious threat to human health as contact with its sap can result in blistering of the skin. We have come across it before on both the River Lossie and Findhorn.

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

After returning to Arthur’s Bridge, we followed the road to Lossiemouth arriving as a food festival was almost finishing. Neil managed to get a few photos of the old plane cockpits and we bought an ice cream.

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

On the festival site were the remains of the old railway platforms at Lossiemouth. We returned to Elgin by following the old railway line. This route is not signed at all, and although it started off a little overgrown it soon opened into a wide dry, stoney farm track. An easy, albeit, bumpy cycle back. We passed the ruins of Spynie Palace which was for five centuries the residence of the bishops of Moray.

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth

Elgin-Lossie Wood-Lossiemouth


More photos on Flickr here

Tiree by bike and foot

Earlier this spring I thought it would be a nice idea to try to do a little ‘run tourism’ here in Scotland. I especially wanted to visit some of the Scottish west coast islands that I haven’t been to previously, so I eagerly signed up for the Tiree Half Marathon. For those who don’t know, Tiree is known as the ‘Hawaii of the North’, Not because the weather is quite as balmy as Hawaii (although it is milder and sunnier than much of the rest of Scotland), but because of its beaches and great waves which are excellent for surfing.
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Breaking the silence

It’s been a while since I last shared anything here with my readers. Why? I lost my writing ‘mojo’ and frankly haven’t done a great deal of walking to post about. However I’m back now and I’m going to try to commit to share a few wee scribblings with those who wish to read them. 🙂

I’ve not been totally inactive since last being here. As well as some hillwalking, over the course of last summer I took up running. I worked my way through a Couch to 5K plan. I know I wasn’t coming from the ‘couch’, but I found it more difficult than I expected to manage to run comfortably. After completing the 9-week programme, I participated in the Loch Ness Festival of Running. It was a bit of a family affair, as one son ran in the Marathon, other son’s girlfriend ran in the 10K and I did the 5K. All good fun.
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Love is in the air (part two)

A few months ago I wrote about my love for the outdoors, and now I wish to share another very important love in my life – my sweetie, my life-long walking partner, Neil.

Today we celebrate 30 years of married life together. We’ve covered a lot of miles together in the past 30 years – mostly amicably 😉 – and are still plodding along together.

We met on the hills and within a few months of that meeting were engaged, and married six months later. We hope to enjoy more hillwalking and wild camping trips for many more years to come.

Mwoaaaah (BIG kiss) to Neil and cheers to us!

Happy anniversay to us!

By swanscot Posted in Chat

GPS files / mapping software frustration

Does anyone know how to import GPX files on to Memory-Map? Or more accurately, why my usual method has stopped working. I’m doing exactly as I did before. I upload the data of my track from my GPS to Garmin BaseCamp and save it as a GPX file on my computer.

In Memory-Map, I click on Overlay, them Import, change ‘files of type’ to GPS Exchange Files (gpx), browse to find the saved GPX file and click Open. But nothing happens. I’ve checked >Overlay >Show All >All. Still nothing

This worked last week when I created the map for our Orrin walk (and for several previous walks), but is not working today. I can see the track in Basecamp, but wish to overlay it on the 1:25,000 OS map of our local wood to share with others who are familiar with the OS map.

Any suggestions?

Memory map  gpx files