Mountain Walk, Perthshire
July 17 : 10:00 am – 5:30 pm£10.00
There may be last minute cancellations due to changes in Government guidelines relation to the Covid Pandemic. If this is the case you will be notified by email and refunds will be offered.Book Online or send payment by cheque made payable to ‘The Professional Gardeners’ Guild’ to Colin Carmichael, Selma, Old Crieff Road, Aberfeldy, Perthshire PH15 2DH. For more information contact organiser: Colin Carmichael at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01887 829731 for more details.
PGG mountain walk, Ben Lawers, Perthshire
Discover the arctic – alpines of Ben Lawers, Killin, Perthshire. NB. Numbers are limited to six, PGG members only.
Most of the Scottish Highlands are covered by poor acid soils which support very few plant species. However, the mountain of Ben Lawers (Gaelic -“the hoof”) by the side of Loch Tay in Perthshire is different, for its soils are less acidic, making it one of the best sites for alpine and arctic plants in Britain. Raising to 1,214m ( 3,984 ft ) it has been the required visiting for generations of botanists, ever since its flora was first documented by James Dickson in 1789. Ben Lawers is built of rocks which were originally sediments and then subjected to intense heat and pressure. The resulting schists are finely fragmented rocks which have a tendency to split on one plane.
The rocky ledges support some of the most interesting plants for the soils are rich in minerals. Here, nutrients are constantly added to as a result of soil movement and rock falls.
Here are a few of the plants that you should see: Roseroot, Sedum rosea, Purple saxifrage, Saxifraga oppositifolia, Alpine fleabane, Erigeron borealis, Ben Lawers dandelion, Taraxacum cymbifolium, Alpine forget-me-nots ( large numbers last year), Myosotis alpestris, Drooping saxifrage, Saxifraga cernua, Snow gentian, Gentiana nivalis, Alpine cinquefoil, Potentilla crantzii, and one of the classic arctic-alpine plants, Alpine mouse-ear, Cerastium alpinum.
The rocky ledges also support two species of willows, these trees never exceed 15cm (6in) in height, the Least willow, Salix herbacea, and attractive Net-leaved willow, Salix reticulata. The site is equally important for the ‘lower plants’ the lichens and mosses with around 500 species recorded, some found nowhere else in Britain. When not looking at our feet we may see Golden eagle, Ravens, Ptarmigan, Wheatear and the Mountain Ringlet Butterfly.
Numbers are limited to six, PGG members only. A reasonable level of fitness is required. Bring walking boots, warm, waterproof and windproof clothing. Although, it is the middle of summer the weather can prevent us getting high enough. Last year I had to turn back and week later it was sunshine all the way. So please allow for this if you are travelling from further a field.
10am – Meet at the Ben Lawers NNR car park.
10.20am – Set off for the summit.
1pm – Lunch, bring your own packed lunch.
4.30pm – Back to the car park.
5.30pm – Awa hame for tea.
The car park is 2 miles up a hill road off the A827 north of Loch Tay.
Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve, Killin
OS Ref: NN608377
Postcode/Satnav: FK21 8TY
Cost for day: £10.00 per person (donation to the National Trust for Scotland). NB. Numbers are limited to six, PGG members only.