Working with Nature - TORRIDON CROFT FOREST GARDEN
CROFT7 - Working with Nature

TORRIDON CROFT FOREST GARDEN

 The croft area being managed by Croft7 is approximately 1 Ha of wet rushy grassland, bordered by a small spate burn to the West which as a number of willow along its banks with a band of Gorse.
The gorse is providing a partial windbreak from prevailing SW winds and will also provide flowers for dyes,wine making and use in food such as scones.
  The croft as had to be fenced off from predation by red deer and rabbits within the perimeter fence    livestock pens for Geese, ducks, and free ranging hens have been constructed. 
  The hens range under a mix of fruiting small orchard trees and shrubs,   Hazels,  Cherry Plum,  Amelancier,  Sea Buckthorn,  Aronia,  Blackthorn , Crab Apples, Apple cultivars, Pears, Plums, Damsons,  red currants,   black currants,  gooseberries, worcesterberry, josta berry.  Fence lines are to be planted up with hedges of dog rose, rosa rugosa,   japonica quince, japanese wineberry,  tayberry,  logan berry,  blackberry cultivars.
   The geese graze two open grass paddocks with alternated monthly grazing of each paddock. The ducks
dabble under a stand of willows which will be harvested over a three year period in a sequence of indivudual trees to maintain a mixed height canopy, between coppice and pollarded trees.
   Areas of wet grassland plants with a wildlife pond are to be managed free of  livestock. Herbs and other wildflowers are encouraged beneath the fruiting trees.    Another area of pollarded willows for firewood, charcoal sticks is also planted up to be harvested on a three year row rotation. Other craft willow for onsite and local workshops are  grown in strips and to provide colourful windbreak hedges protecting our vegetable growing areas.
     The top side of the croft nearest the Fasaig village road contains  14,  1.2 metre by  3.6 metre raised beds,  and two  10 metre by 0.5metre long raised beds for raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and Rhubarb. Asparagus  Some dye plant a herb beds, Tool stores, compost and wormery bins. Comfrey, Nettle Beds and nursery benches for Cottage Garden perrenial plant sales and production.  Rows of Blackcurrants ,Redcurrants, Gooseberries, and willow strips under planted with Alpine Strawberries including a white berried variety.
 


Raised Beds





Produce     Fruit, Vegtables, Herbs, Dye Plants and Cut  Flowers






 


 



 




  



An article illustrating what we do In Torridon.




  A raised bed of mixed produce   Croft7    companion    planting,  Purple Kale, Nero de Tosca kale, runner beans, broad beans,  dahlia flower (flower heads\ pollen for dye colour). 

    




 













 In 2010  Les  carried out some contract work as one of a number of Tutors  
   for   Grow North,
               a practical local food project managed by 
         Sheila Wickens  for  Transition Black Isle


 

  In 2013  Les co ordinated   a workshop/seminar    weekend for the   
  Community  Woodland Association in Torridon.   
   





   In the Summer 2013, 30 students and their tutors from the University of Western       Montana visited the Croft7  site in Fasaig. 
   The book Scottish Wild Harvests     to which Les contributed is a   course book for the students.


     


   We hope to maintain  Biodiversity and if possible extend its range on the croft.


   Croft7 is  a member of


Scottish Crofting Federation

Nourish Scotland

Highland Environmental Network

Reforesting  Scotland
Community Woodlands Association

Wester Ross Fisheries Trust

Scottish Wild Harvest Association.

British Dragonfly Society   

Butterfly Conservation Scotland
  
Plantlife

    see  LINKS

    some of the species found on the croft.  Photographs Les Bates


                                                                                                             Ladies Smock
  
 

               Bumb                                    Bumble Bee  approaching  Pulmonaria flower
                           


                                               Male Orange Tip Butterfly on  Siberian Wallflower



                                             Bumblebee approach Clary Sage flowers in herb bed.








                                   Common Frog






                                  Golden Ringed Dragonfly




     
Hawker Dragonfly   DRAGONFLY  SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS LEAFLET   llink  please click to view

                       Common Blue

 

   
                                             
  








                                 Meadow Flowers
  







                                                Redpoll


Common Toad

                                       



        
      
   



         Bumblebee:-  Bombus lapadarius on Bergamot Flower
    



       Forest Garden Fruits 

                   
                  
           
    
         Forest Gardening and  Permaculture,   Edible Landscape Management