In praise of the Dump

When I think back about the thing that sparked the start of a better appreciation of the woods, it all comes back to The Dump.

I was a dogwalker and saw the woods as a place to tramp round, for half an hour in the morning. Given it was early morning and I was always rushing to get to a job that made me stressed, the morning dogwalk was admittedly a bit of a chore.

It all changed quite gradually. But I can date the start to the launch of the Cairngorm Photo Posts project last year.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority launched the project in the spring. They set up 14 photo posts around the park area. They were designed to be in interesting spots, allowing different people to take the same photograph. You are encouraged to register and upload your pictures to their website, giving details of when you took the picture. Then everyone can see the changes in a certain spot over the year.

When I heard about the scheme, I looked up the project page, just to see where the posts were located. And it just happened that there was one in the Grantown, at the former Dump.

The Dump is a subtle landmark of Anagach Woods. If you look at Google Maps you can see a large expanse of open ground. It was, as the name suggests, formerly the municpal dump.. Now it’s covered with grass and heather and used as a campfire for local youngsters.

Aerial view of a forest

That island of yellow in the middle of the ocean of trees – that’s The Dump

Anyway, there is a photo post there now too, just a few metres off the beaten track, focussed on a non-descript patch of heather to the eastern side of the area. After discovering it was there, I added a bit extra to my morning dogwalk to see where it was.

Since then, I’ve been going back regularly, every week or so to take a picture in the morning. I’ve made a wee video (I’ll show you it in a later post). Strictly speaking, it’s not time lapse but it shows the changing conditions of the area. Sunshine, rain, mist and snow – it’s all there and often at unseasonal times of the year.

My trips to The Dump brought me a bit of peace when I needed it – there’s often no one there. And I also found other fascinating things in the heather.

But more of that next time…

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