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Thread: Rannoch, Loch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    349

    Default Rannoch, Loch

    Loch Rannoch (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Raineach) is a large body of fresh water in Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

    The loch is over 15 kilometres long in an east-west direction with an average width of about 1 kilometre. The River Tummel begins at its eastern end. The Tay Forest Park lies along its southern shore. The wild Rannoch Moor extends to the west of the loch and used to be part of the Caledonian Forest that stretched across much of Northern Scotland. This is proven in part by the presence of Scots Pine stumps preserved in the boggy areas of the moor, and pollen records from peat cores.

    The loch and surrounding areas have suffered from extensive deforestation and plantation of alien species. These practices have given rise to sections of dense forest alternating with deforested areas, and is seen across much of the Scottish Highlands. There has been a growing interest in reforesting Scotland, spear-headed by organisations such as the RSPB, Trees for Life, Reforesting Scotland, the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust.

    The loch and surrounding area does, however, offer good sport fishing and walking. The small village of Kinloch Rannoch lies at the eastern end of the loch, and a crannog (an ancient artificial island) can be found near its western end

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

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    Rannoch is home to two or three distinct morphs of Arctic Charr. Not that it's very likely a paddler's ever going to see one of the very beautiful little fishes, but fact is that the Rannoch charr have been cited as proof of evolutionary developmental progress in action.

    Rannoch is a wide deepish loch that collects a fair share of wind - westerlies sweep across Glen Coe, Rannoch moor, Lochs Ba and Laidon and down the glen of the Garbh Ghaoir (Gaur) to Rannoch itself.

    There are extensive shallows towards the west end of Loch Rannoch, far more widespread than a casual observer would guess. I've found myself close to running aground (in a dinghy) a long way offshore on the North side of the loch. Sand banks and shallow rock & gravel shelves extend far from the shore in places, so shallow that paddling would be problematic in some areas as there's not enough water to engage the paddle blade. In areas like this a pair of ski poles might be useful?

    The loch level was raised when the hydro scheme was built at the outfall in the east, and as a result the raised water level has flooded the old course of the Ghaoir.

    There's a very tiny rocky island a mile or so from the west end with a single tower upon it. Any plans you might make for an overnight here won't survive your first inspection. It's not a pleasant place.

    The loch shores otherwise offer loads of opportunities for landing and overnighting.

    There's a scrap of the old Caledonian forest on the south side. Fires here might be frowned upon!

    Also, the former Rannoch School set back a little from the south shore is now the subject of a development plan - so it's possible that Rannoch will lose its relatively quiet nature to some degree. Maybe not - the timeshare development on the North side doesn't seem to have impacted things to any marked degree.

    Put-ins are pretty much anywhere you like. There are roads that skirt both north and south lochsides.

    If you don't want to wild camp, there's a very civilised wee seasonal campsite in woodland clearings at the SE corner,, perhaps a half mile or so from the lochside. Facilities are basic, but it's kept clean and trim.

    Schiehallion is only a couple of miles off, to the South East of the loch. It's well known for being the mountain where original data was gathered that was used to calculate the mass of the earth. Clever stuff.

    As always on these big highland lochs, keep an eye on the weather at all times - conditions can change surprisingly quickly, and a run for shore is sometimes indicated.
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NE England
    Posts
    1,396

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    Thought I'd throw a few photos into the mix.


    East end.


    The island/crannog at the west end.


    I have been reliably informed that this is a potato digger, somewhere around the middle on the north shore.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Worcestershire
    Posts
    495

    Default Yes, potato digger...

    Have shown the implement to my agricultural expert who replied:

    It is a Potato spinner (digger). Would originally been horse drawn. Probably Bamfords or Blackstone


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Blairgowrie, east Perthshire
    Posts
    491

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    Seconding GoneFishing's remarks about put-ins. Reading the SCA guide you get the impression you have to commit to paddle right from one end to the other - not true. The best sandy beaches are towards the western end on the north side, and these are popular for "wild" camping in the summer (expect to find litter or worse). Other landings are distinctly bouldery, particularly at the Kinloch Rannoch end. Basically if you can find a lay-by for the car there'll be a put-in nearby. A lovely spot on a calm day, but be aware that there is no significant shelter when the wind is blowing west or east along the loch.
    It's well over 100m deep in the eastern half so don't drop anything over the side!
    Last edited by Invicta; 19th-August-2009 at 11:43 AM.

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