Altnahara Plantations – Naver Forest
Courtesy of North Highland Forest District.
A series of small plantations formed on land acquired from Altnahara estate in Maps Altnahara 1, 2 and 3 were planted along the Mudale River road, Strath Vagastie and also along Loch Naver.
The Map 1 plantations west of Altnahara cross roads were named from the west side as Barren Ridge Wood, Mudale Wood, Garvel Wood and Cnoc Dubh Wood all planted in 1960 to 1961 with mixtures of Lodgepole pine and Scots pine also some Omorica and Sitka spruce were used in the species mixture as well. The same maps shows Gruama More Wood down the side of Loch Naver planted in 1963 with quite a proportion of Hybrid larch and Scots pine. Further east along the Loch is the outline of another acquired area but not shown planted at this time.
The 3rd and 4th images on the PDF shows the plantation areas in the second acquisition but the only one planted at the time was Chicken Dhu also west of Altnahara but south of the public road, planted in 1962 mainly with Lodgepole pine and some Scots pine. Interestingly the outlines of first of the future plantation areas at the Altnahara cross roads and Strath Vagastie can be seen.
Altnahara Map 3 is the 5th page and includes the little plantation of Grumbeg down the side of Loch Naver planted in 1964 which was added to in later years. In the corner the 1965 planting has been added to the last small block not shown in Altnahara 1 map but acquired then.
As usual with a national organisation there was a code and procedure convention for mapping of plantations some of which survive in the FC to this day. Acquisition boundaries were edged with a yellow ink (in this case green was used); compartment boundaries (rides) drawn in red ink; the extent of the planting in any year was given a light colour wash, outlined in green ink and the planting year written in green eg P.66; the compartment’s serial number and area in acres was written within the compartment sometimes within a small circle; the areas where different tree species were planted within each compartment were annotated with a species code eg SS (Sitka spruce), LP (Lodgepole pine) etc; different species areas in each compartment had to be separated by a dotted black line; internal fences, streams and other land usually indicated by a solid black line. Map scale was usually 6 inches to the mile.
Note that the annual reporting year and the planting year coincided at this time in that they ran from 1st Oct to 30th Sep. This avoided having an artificial split in the totals for the planting season which ran from November through to May. The Planting Year (PY or just P) was fixed as the first summer following planting and thus trees planted in Nov 55 and May 56 were both annotated P56.
Picture added on 10 September 2012