Winter Storms at Cleghorn Glen and Cartland Craigs
The strong winds experienced in Clydesdale in early January this year exacted their usual winter toll on the ancient woodlands at Cleghorn and Cartland Craigs.
For a short while the paths, including some sections of improved pathworks that Clydesdale Community Initiatives worked on in 2014, were partly obstructed by windblown trees and branches at a number of locations. However, these have all now been cleared and the paths are fully open, albeit rather muddy in places.
Depending on the direction of these gales, these ancient woodlands can be vulnerable to such storms as the narrow gorges can funnel the winds along them and the steep slopes and shallow soils provide scant security for the larger trees. In general, other than ensuring that the paths are open and safe, fallen trees are left in place on the nature reserve as the presence of abundant decaying deadwood is crucial to the survival of our insect and bird populations.
Once the winds had abated, the remainder of January settled into a colder spell of winter weather, with some lengthy periods of snow-lie on the reserve. Such weather conditions are perfect for visiting Cleghorn Glen, not only does the reserve look picturesque mantled in snow, but the easily seen footprints of badgers, foxes and roe deer tell a fascinating tale of their nocturnal behaviour.