| walking accommodation western isles of scotland
walking accommodation western isles of scotland
walking accommodation western isles of scotland, accommodation Hebrides, acommodation, accomodation Isle of Skye, Lodge Isle of Skye, waternish
The year 1943 witnessed one of the most important and far-reaching developments of the Scottish Highlands when the Hydro-Electric Development (Scotland) Act was passed by Parliament, promoted principally by Tom Johnston, then Secretary of State for Scotland. By this act the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was established with the task of developing the water-resources of the Highlands and Islands. It was given the task of supplying electricity to the consumer, to industry, and to the existing electricity suppliers. It was also given wide-ranging powers to collaborate in the social improvement and economic development of the north of Scotland. With the nationalisation of electricity in 1947 the north of Scotland was left out of the national scheme and all local authority or private company stations north of a line from the Clyde to the Tay were taken under the aegis of the Hydro-Electric Board.
The first turbine station built by the Board was opened in 1948 in Morar, but since then evidence of their work is to be seen throughout the Highlands. As well as providing electricity in the remotest areas of the Highlands, they have built in three decades some 644 kilometres of roads and some 400 houses for their workers. It is estimated that some 4000 industrial consumers of electricity employ over 13000 people in the area. Throughout the Highlands new dams, overhead cables and turbine stations, generally built to merge with their background in local stone, are evidence of their industry.
The 1950s saw the gradual resurgence of tourism as the rationing of petrol was eased. The decade also saw many developments under various public bodies int he Highlands, which encouraged this trend. The Nature Conservancy, founded in 1949 with a view to providing advice on the conservation and control of the natural flora and fauna of Great Britain, as well as to establish and manage nature reserves and develop research related to them, turned its attention first to the Highlands. The Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve near Kinlochewe in Ross-shire, consisting of 4200 hectares, was the first to be formed in 1951. It was acquired primarily for the preservation and study of one of the largest remains of the old Caledonian Pinewoods. Amongst the animals preserved there are pine martens. This was only the first of nearly a dozen nature reserves of varying sizes to be formed in the Highlands covering by far the largest area of such reserves in Britain.
In 1954 the nature Conservancy created the Cairngorms National Nature Reserve. Extending eventually to 26000 hectares this is the largest reserve of its kind in Britain, including a large area over 1220 metres high. It extends from Loch an Eilean about 260 metres above sea level to the top of Ben Macdhui 1310 metres high. Such birds as ptarmigan, capercailzie, black-game, peregrine falcons, and golden eagles and such mammals as red deer, roe deer, wild cats, foxes, badgers, and otters are to be found in the area as well as many rare species of flowers. The adjacent Craigellachie Nature Reserve of 256 hectares was established later in 1960.
Nearby, to the east, the Forestry Commission controls the Queen’s Forest, the Glenmore Forest National Park and Rothiemurchos Forest, all of which had been acquired as early as 1923 from the Duke of Gordon. In 1955 the Forestry Commission also acquired the Crarae Forest Garden on Loch Fyneside, when it was gifted to the nation by Sir George Campbell, whose father, his namesake, had developed it since its purchase in 1920. Although small, this forest garden, or arboretum, contains many unusual conifers and other exotica, all encouraged to grow well by the softer climate of the west coast, affected by the nearness of the Gulf Stream.