Floors Castle, near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, is a magnificent old stately home sitting in splendid grounds. It has an excellent tearoom, garden centre and adventure playground, and the gardens round the back of the house are a delight to wander round. The archway shown below is one of the many attractive features of Floors: a profusion of greenery cascading over a stone wall leading into a paved courtyard.
This picture shows the effects of rotational heather burning on a moorland in the county of Angus. The purplish patches on the hillside are areas of heather that have been burned in different years. Burning heather gets rid of older plants and encourages new growth, and burning small areas in successive years creates a patchwork of plants of different heights. Moorlands like this one support a variety of wildlife, including several species of ground-nesting birds that prefer to nest in recently burned areas.
Two wild goats in the Queen Elizabeth forest park in Galloway, Scotland. Supposed to be kept on a strict grass-based diet, this ancient breed of long-haired beasts will happily relieve you of your sandwiches given half a chance.
A peaceful scene of contented cows grazing beneath a verdant hillside in Glen Lochay on a beautiful summer’s day. As I look out at the cold grey January weather today, I’m dreaming of countryside rambles under blue skies in warm sunshine.
We had quite a bit of snow yesterday morning, but in the afternoon the sun came out and brightened things up. I expect the birds enjoy a bit of winter warmth on their feathers, just as humans appreciate it against the skin.
Yesterday was a glorious day in sunny Perthshire, cold and crisp with a clear blue sky. While out for a health-giving walk, I passed a curiously twisted tree. I don’t suppose I’d have noticed it if it had been covered in leaves, but at this time of year its pale bark and empty branches stood out against the background field.
A few days ago I visited Murton Farm nature reserve, near Forfar in the county of Angus. On a previous visit, made in the summertime, the landscape was filled with bright yellow gorse and bushy green-leaved trees. By late October it was equally beautiful, with autumnal shades and a feeling of things settling down for the winter.