Just one week after we visited Sandwood Bay I read the John Muir Trust have raised funds to repair the path to the bay. We saw the JMT Ranger driving to the area as we headed south, so I hope they counted the few quid we put in the donations box at the car park.
BBC Scotland report:
Thousands raised for remote Sutherland footpath
A plea for funds to cover the cost of repairing a footpath in a remote corner of Sutherland has raised £40,000.
Landscape charity the John Muir Trust said the amount donated by its members and supporters to its Sandwood Estate appeal was “incredible”.
A beach on the trust-owned land is reached by a four-mile (6km) track making it one of the most remote beaches on mainland Britain.
Heavy rain and increasing numbers of walkers have worn down the path.
The money will pay for it to be stabilised and improvements to drainage along the route.
A bit of drainage work in several places should help keep the path from becoming a lochan and prevent erosion of the surrounding peatland.
The Sandwood Estate is now owned by the John Muir Trust and parts of it have official conservation designations; there are two sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and a 444 ha Special Area of Conservation which includes Sandwood Bay.
The geology around Sandwood is fascinating. According to the JMT:
“the rocks of Sandwood are mainly Torridonian gritstone, sandstone and conglomerate, with outcrops of Lewisian gneiss. Sandwood Loch is at the junction between the two rock types. Lewisian gneiss is multicoloured, with stripes, swirls and bubbles, metamorphic and one of the oldest rocks in the world. Torridonian sandstone is sandy, layered sedimentary rock, often blocky in shape, laid down about six hundred million years ago.”
I’m not that hot on geology, but I can recognise fascinating rocks. The patterns in the rocks on the crags to the north of the river were wonderful. There were sedimentary rocks lying on their side and twisted, bubbled rocks.
When we woke at Sandwood Bay we were delighted to feel the sun warming us in our tent in the sand dunes and see blue skies stretching over the ocean and the inland hills.
I ran out on to the sand and immediately wanted to do cartwheels on the sand, but I’ve never been able to do cartwheels even when a wee girl(!), so started my morning with some yoga on the beach. This was much needed to stretch stiff muscles from carrying my full rucksack the previous day and sleeping on the Thermarests.