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Thread: Earn, Loch

  1. #1

    Default Earn, Loch

    Loch Earn (Scottish Gaelic, Loch Eire/Loch Éireann) is a freshwater loch in the central highlands of Scotland, in the districts of Perth and Kinross and Stirling. The name is thought to mean "Loch of Ireland", and it has been suggested that this might derive from the time when the Gaels were expanding their kingdom of Dalriada eastwards into Pictland.

    It is a long narrow loch, 17 km west of Crieff and is approximately 10.5 km long, 0.8 km at its widest point and 87 m deep at its western end.

    Lochearnhead village is situated at the western end of the loch and St. Fillans village at the eastern end. From here, the River Earn flows eastwards from the loch, through Strathearn, and eventually joins the Firth of Tay some 75km away. Lochearnhead is the centre for the water sports activities on the loch; water skiing, canoeing and sailing. The loch is also stocked regularly with brown and rainbow trout and fishing, by permit, is possible from the shore and by boat.

    To the south of the loch lies Ben Vorlich, a steep sided pyramid shaped peak. At 985m, this is a popular climb and the views from the top are spectacular. Just east of Lochearnhead, on the south side of the loch, is Edinample Castle, built by 'Black' Duncan Campbell of Glenorchy in 1584. Further east is Ardvorlich House, home to the Stewarts of Ardvorlich from 1580 (rebuilt in 1790).

    Loch Earn is unusual in that it has its own apparent 'tidal system', or seiche, caused by the action of the prevailing wind blowing along the loch. This wind pressure on the surface causes the water level to build up at one end of the loch. As with all damped mechanical systems, applied pressure can result in an oscillation, and the water will return to the opposite end of the loch over time. In the case of Loch Earn, this has a period of 16 hours and the effect can be measured, but is difficult to observe. The resulting currents can create complex turbulence patterns, as higher layers of warmer waters mix with the lower lying colder waters of the loch.

    Other bodies of fresh water which experience this seiche effect include Lake Geneva, Lake Garda, Lake Erie and Lake Baikal

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    St Andrews
    Posts
    375

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    I kept a boat on Loch Earn for two seasons, never yet was aware of any "tidal" effects on it, which isn't to infer it ain't so, but only to allay any worries that mention of mysterious currents etc might start up.

    It's a decent medium sized loch, a typical example of a flooded glaciated glen. It's around 6.3 miles in length - and has an approximate average width of o.6 of a mile.

    Access could hardly be easier, with roads skirting both North and South shores.

    And that's the problem.

    I'm ashamed to say that people camping and fishing (I can't properly call them fishermen) make a right royal mess of the banks of this otherwise nice piece of water.

    And numbers of them get drunk, and leave all sorts of stuff behind. The usual story of being able to take containers in full, but unable to take them out once emptied. These are of the sort who also play radios loudly, shout like thugs, respect neither themselves nor anyone else, and frequently abandon clumps of tangled line, often regrettably cited on SOTP as behaviour typical of fisherfolk. Take it from me, it isn't. No fisherman known to me would behave like this.

    Also problematic are the speedboats and jetskis, often piloted by youthful numbskulls with an excess of testorerone - and egos that need propped up by making lots of noise and general disturbance.

    I've heard it expressed thus - "let them have Earn, which wasn't THAT brilliant to begin with, it'll keep lots of them off other, better places"

    With which I can agree, to some extent.

    Not too sure if Earn's entry to the National Park has changed anything? I don't believe so, but have had no first hand experience of it for some time now, so can't be sure.

    There's a business based on seaplane-flying at the Loch's Western end. Its most noticeable plane is an egg-yellow high wing monoplane, a pleasure to see it take off & land - looks like a throwback to post-war times. Sure it's a disturbance too, but its relative rarity value and graceful ways make it easily forgiven for that (to me, anyway)

    If I was going to paddle Earn, I'd stick to the West end, hugging the Southern shore for the stretch where the road veers away from the loch, and gains sufficient height to prevent the people-who-camp/fish etc from accessing it, with the result that there's a mile or two of very pleasant lochside with good landing spots for brews/sitdowns etc.

    At weekends the centre section of Loch Earn is a noisy place, and way too overpopulated to be bearable. Much of the East end is similar.

    Weekdays are usually much quieter on the whole.

    But there are numerous other places within easy driving distance that I'd readily choose before committing time to paddling on this loch.
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    NE Scotland
    Posts
    59

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    A wee update as I paddled here early 2018 - blogg here http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ater-Adventure

    The area is now covered as part of a camping management zone and has improved a little in terms of all the crap that used be left lying around. It's a good sized loch to spend a full day paddling and plenty of extremely easy access points on the North shore. However it's incredibly busy and the road is likewise busy and never out of earshot. Good for a days paddling outside busy periods (say Oct-Mar) but I would avoid in summer and not somewhere I'd recommend for an overnighter at any time of the year.

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