March of the Mannies

March of the Mannies

Nine o’ clock on Saturday morning and we were gathered outside the Invercauld Arms Hotel in Braemar waiting for the Ballater and District Pipe Band to fall in and lead us through the village to the start of another Braemar Gathering.  The so-called “March of the Mannies” has now become a popular tradition when the Braemar Games officials, and yes, we’re all men, walk to the Games Park carrying the flag of the Braemar Royal Highland Society.  Traditions are...

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In the Park

In the Park

When I woke the other morning it was as if the world had changed overnight.  It had been raining heavily at bedtime and clearly the rain had continued all night.  By morning much of the landscape around Braemar was unrecognisable.  The familiar meandering route of the River Dee from Mar Lodge to the village had vanished and the valley was filled with water from one side to the other.  It was as if, overnight, some invisible force had replaced the river with a long broad loch...

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Park Talk

Park Talk

Everywhere you turn in the new cavernous museum store at the Highland Folk Park in Newtonmore an interesting item catches your eye. Those of a certain age can still remember using some of them at home in the kitchen, garden or down on the farm. Others are just downright odd, their purpose unclear to the modern eye. I was pleased to see a collection of blanket boxes with examples very similar to a couple I own. Public tours can be arranged I believe. With free site entry, this has to be a...

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Apple Bytes

Apple Bytes

The Cairngorms 10th Anniversary Orchards were all planted earlier in the year and are really taking root in their communities.    Andrew Lear – The Appletreeman –  provided the trees for the orchards and assisted with the plantings, here he gives some seasonal tips on looking after fruit trees in the National  Park.   A recent radio gardening programme suggested that growing fruit on higher ground is very difficult! Of course we know different! We had a...

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Bug life in the Cairngorms

Bug life in the Cairngorms

From bees to beetles, and spiders to snails, invertebrates make up an incredible 98% of our animal life and these creatures without backbones enable life on earth, as we experience it, to continue. The Cairngorms National Park is arguably the best place in the UK for invertebrates, especially for species associated with mountains, woodlands and cooler climates. Increasingly the National Park is the last stronghold for many invertebrate species that are becoming rare or extinct elsewhere in...

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