What a load of old rubbish

You know when you just have ‘one of those weeks’? Well we’ve just had one….

In some ways it’s fairly typical of our new crofting life; everything is always so busy, exciting and challenging all at the same time. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions with things changing all the time, highs and lows, and never, ever (or very rarely…) going to plan. We knew it was never going to be easy so it’s all about riding out the storms, learning as we go and overall, keeping the faith it will all come good in the end.

So seeing as we’ve had a few tricky patches this week, it seems appropriate to have this blog about rubbish. Lynbreck is scattered with relicts of the past. There are a few small bits and bobs around


Just a harmless Belfast sink. Useful watering trough for future?


Or there’s this old milk pail next to the croft house. Might make a nice planter….


Even these old gates might come in useful one day when we have our coos

So all that’s not too bad. But, as we were talking about today with a new neighbour and experienced crofter Marina, back in the days before amenity recycling centres, people didn’t have places to bring their household goods and old equipment. Quite often they had a dump or if it was a bit of broken farm equipment, they just left it where it was.


We don’t even know what this is. But there is the odd old plough lying around down in the field where the old crofters used to grow tatties


Random household selection – spot the ironing board?


Couple of old bikes down in the Gully woodland


In fact the Gully woodland seems to have been a favourite place to dump stuff. Or it was a place to trial new tree guards…. (check out the nice Rowan growing through the old oil drum on the right hand side)


Olive exploring for any old dog food dumps


Anyone fancy doing up an old car?


or maybe 2?


So as you can see, we have a challenge ahead. Some of it will just have to stay, but we think most of it we’ll manage to get out. It’s going to take time, a bit of muscle and sweat and a little help but we’re already starting to chip away.


These piles are from an old fence that we’ve started demolishing. One of many! But each week we do a little more and bring as much old wire and wood as we can fit into the back of our trusty SUV down to the local recycling centre

On a high point we’ve harvested bags of tatties, the new chickens are laying and the sun is here for the week. Onwards and upwards……



Whenever we moved to Lynbreck, we had no idea of how busy a place it is. Now that summer has really taken hold (well, sort of…..) we’ve been blown away with all the little flowers that have popped up and all the wildlife that has come out to enjoy the long summer days. Whilst we don’t necessarily get a lot of heat, we do get many hours of daylight and that gives things the extra boost that all of us need to grow, live and even survive up here.

Here is a very small selection of the things we’ve spotted so far this year (and we’ll put this caveat in now – for all you wildlife experts out there please do raise your voices if our ID isn’t always entirely accurate)

We’ve not done too badly for butterflies. We’d like to see more but we’ll often come across these chaps



This is the Common Blue butterfly. They like to flutter around in our meadows when it’s sunny. Would you believe this is the commonest Blue butterfly in the UK? Amazing…


small pearl

A small pearl bordered fritillary. Fairly rare nowadays and they like to hang out down in our gully


dark green

A dark green fritillary. Not as rare as the former but still not so common. They too like the gully. It must be a fritillary thing (also the habitat is right and their food plants are there…)


We’ve also had lots of day flying moths including this one


The Wood Tiger moth. Quite localised and in decline like many of our moths (thanks to Hayley Wiswell from the Cairngorms National Park for the ID)

And we had this chap land on the rail of our decking area


Look at this for an impressive beastie! It has an equally impressive name – the Dark giant horsefly. It is pretty huge….


This frog clearly mistook the dogs water bowl for a nice pond


It was doing backstroke just before we took the picture


And WOW the flowers we’ve had! We’ve been delighted to see lots of these pop up around the place


Orchids! Heath Spotted to be exact


And for those of you who think a ‘bog’ sounds like a miserable place, check this out


What do you get when you mix a bit of Bog Asphodel, Bog Cotton, all sorts of heather and a bit of green stuff? The above!



Although if you were a fly you wouldn’t think a bog sounded great as generally where there are wet areas, there are Sundew. Tiny carnivorous plants always looking out for a tasty snack


The bell heather is flowering on the slopes of the gully


Soon to be followed by the Common Heather – that will lead to a purple colour boom


And the fields, which aren’t really that diverse, are holding their own in patches. Plenty of ‘common’ species but a nice starter diverse mix which, with the right grazing, we hope to increase.


A nice wee patch of Birds Foot Trefoil


And in case anyone wants to know it is always sunny and there are no midges, ever…..