Black Isle District Annual report 1951
The document is courtesy of Inverness, Ross and Skye Forest District and is the PDF. See button on bottom right of image.
The annual report for year ending September 1951 most likely written by District Officer Mike Long appears to still cover a large number of individual forests areas including Glenurquhart, Urray, Boblainy, Guisachan, Strathconon, Craigphadraig, Battan, Millbuie, Kilcoy and Kessock but apart from the Black Isle Forests only Strathconon and Urray mentioned
The report is set out in headings and under:
The year’s Work – comments on the year’s chaotic weather with mild back end then winter conditions from January through to April with severe frosts and snow. Under labour heading a comment on the drift of men towards the hydro schemes but that instead of being bussed to the construction sites new conditions requiring them to stay in bothies on site was less favourable to married men.
Much of the report focussed on the nursery work and outputs citing the differences between the agricultural or traditional nurseries against the newer heathland ones. High weeding costs but heavier transplants from the former but better germination and much lower costs from the latter. There are a number of points made about the foresters being unhappy with any trees they believe came from heathland nurseries. Their concerns may have been on the sizes and possibly slimness of the trees. Quite a bit of detail on experimental work that needs to be done in the heathland nurseries maximise benefits, survival and sizes.
Mike Long also voices his concerns about the future problems of extracting timber from sites which have been ploughed. He states that all the Black Isle site have been ploughed at five feet spacing but that double furrow ploughing would be less of an extraction problem. He also advocates leaving a ten foot unploughed strips as small rides to facilitate harvesting in the future.
Experiments and Research – Mention of Mr (Jackie?) Frater working on a mechanical system to turn the large piles of waste hops.
Fire Protection – a good year as the conditions too wet to burn anything!
Picture added on 22 August 2017 at 15:07