Oykel Forest – Cassley Planting Map Nos 1 & 3
Maps courtesy of North Highland Forest District, Golspie and photographed by Norman Davidson.
This composite map covers two separate areas which must have been part of the whole Cassley Balnagown acquisition. The two area featured here were quite some distance apart as one was sited behind the Oykel Bridge Hotel and known as Caplich and the other as Duchally, located high up Glen Cassley. The Caplich Wood was planted in years 1964 to 1965 with a small area completed in 1966. The Compartment numbers ran in sequence from Rossal Wood from 106 up to 115. There was a high proportion of Lodgepole pine planted here both pure and in mixture with Sitka spruce. The south west corner of the wood must have had a better soil type and there is quite a large area of Noble fir, Norway and Sitka spruce in some type of mixture. The writer does remember the Noble fir which stood out as quite a feature on this steep slope above the Oykel river a little beyond the Oykel Bridge Hotel. Also remember that Caplich was aerial sprayed with insecticide against Pine beauty moth around 1981. It is interesting to note that the naming convention of Lodgepole pine changed from Contorta pine (PC) to Lodgpole pine (LP) around 1965 in an effort to give it a better image! Lodgepole pine covers such a wide geographical area in Canda and USA that the tree has a huge range of shape, growth habit and straightness and or lack of it. Unfortunately the fastest growth varieties which would tolerate the most wet and acid conditions (Lodgepole pine - south coastal) also had the worst stem form in later years and even more unfortunately a great deal of it was planted before foresters fully realised the huge problem.
The second area up the Cassley Glen at Duchally shows up as being compartmented and planted but pencil details show that the compartments numbers 117 – 122 must have been allocated a little previously and that their boundaries were corrected for some reason or other. Again the species contains a high proportion of Lodgepole pine with some Sitka spruce. The little area of OS (Omorika spruce or Serbian spruce) is a nice bit of variation – grows very slowly and has a conical outline not unlike a telegraph pole! Compartment 116 is out of sequence but this number was used near the bottom of the glen at Glenrossal.
Picture added on 14 August 2013