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A recent visit to the west of Scotland has made me realise how beautiful both wild and man-made landscapes can be.

I walked through a couple of woodland areas where trees had been left as they had fallen and nature had taken its course.

The first was an old Gunpowder works where the remains of old stone buildings were still to be found. Ferns had taken hold on top of and in between the stones of the walls and moss had covered fallen trees. I could not help feeling that I was in a very magical place that civilisation had forgotten.

Gunpowder trailGunpowder trail 2

The second woodland area was a ‘rainforest’ by the Crinan canal. It rose 100 metres with spectacular views across to the Isle of Jura and Mull. It really did feel as if I was in the jungle, the air was very warm and moist and was home to a huge variety of ferns and lichens amongst the ancient oaks.

View from Crinan woods

Easdale is an island in the Firth of Lorn which from the middle of the 17th century to the early 20th century was a slate quarry. In 1881 a storm hit the island and flooded the quarries which led to its decline. The island is now inhabited with a population of around 70 and can only be accessed by a small motor boat ferry. It is a peaceful place as there are no cars on the island. The remains of the slate works are evident on the shores of the island, but the quarry pits have filled with water and other areas have been reclaimed by plants, which has created a most beautiful landscape.

Easdale

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