Morvern Undiscovered


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Welcome to morvernundiscovered.co.uk

Morvern Undiscovered is a record of observations; sites and sounds plus walks and places of interest on this triangular peninsula; virtually surrounded by water with Loch Linnhe to the East, the Sound of Mull to the South and West, and Loch Sunart to the North. The only landline to the mainland is through Glen Tarbert which lies in the North East corner.

This spectacular area of land is a very special and unique environment, shaped by such tremendous earth forces as volcanoes, ice and natural erosion. The rugged surface has supported people for thousands of years; both harvesting the sea and hunter-gathering from it's Hills and Valleys. Over generations, crops were grown, livestock reared for clothing and food, fuel was gathered, timber grown for building and industry, minerals mined and many small communities built.

This land has also played such a key role in Scottish history, the rise of Somerled and the defeat of the Vikings; Somerled was not only a great Scottish naval chief but he was the forebear of Clan Donald, later to be known as Lord of the Isles, although formerly called King of the Isles, of which the 14th Century Ardtornish Castle was a stronghold. At various times there have been a number of clans on Morvern, the MacLeans of Kingairloch and Drimnin, the Lord of the Isles at Ardtornish and the clan MacInnes at Kinlochaline. Such castles were a sign of power far beyond the governance from the lowlands, however this also led to rivalry and feuding, which was exacerbated further when later, individual clans were split in their loyalty between the Stuarts cause and the Crown.

Depopulation of many of the highland areas came about in a staged process: in some areas the land could no longer support the population, enforced recruitment to the Highland Regiments, improved farming techniques and rapid agricultural change led to many thousands being removed from the land. It is believed that over 40,000 people emigrated from the wider area, with a great many thousands more leaving Great Britain as a whole. However many people were relocated to other parts of estates and new settlements were created such as Lochaline, where communities thrived in better housing to continue fishing, farming and kelp gathering. It was also during this time that crofts were established; small farm holdings, where the tenant could farm a small area of land and yet whose services could be called upon by the landowner. Further depopulation did occur in the late 19th Century due to the potato blight and the demise in the kelp industry and small settlements became depopulated such as Aulston.

With the increases in industrial development and improvements in agriculture and forestry, so the communications network improved, with road and rail connections becoming more extensive. In areas such as Morvern there has been little growth in the population over recent years, perhaps directly linked to the lack of opportunities for sustainable work. Whilst some continue in farming, fishing and forestry plus limited opportunities in mining, the principal source of additional revenue to the area is tourism and the benefits created to the various service industries which thrive from this additional financial income.

Morvern is a living landscape; shaped by events some 60 million years ago and still evolving today. Join me and explore this marvelous land and the opportunities that exist in Morvern Undiscovered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wildlife Videos & Sounds - Under Observations.

 

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