We head down south for our April field trip, to Ford, at the south-western tip of Loch Awe. This area has a range of woodland types plus marshes, rocky ground and of course, the loch itself. Though still early in the year it’s time to drag our attention away from lichens and decaying fungi and welcome the burgeoning plant life of Spring. I chose the Ford area because no recording has been done there for the current 2010-19 date class and because there are three uncommon plant species there which will be easily recognisable at this time of year if we can find them. They are: Townhall Clock, Alternate-leaved Golden Saxifrage, and Navelwort, all recorded there by Bernard Thompson in the 1980’s and the latter 2 found again by me in 2008 though I failed to find the first.
There is a chance of seeing Ospreys and a variety of other bird life, and if it’s a fine day some early butterflies and other insects will be on the wing.
Directions: Coming from Oban on the A816, turn left along the B840 at Carnasserie. After about 2.5 miles you come to Ford where there is a road junction, north to Dalavich along a minor road and east along the B840 to Eredine. Immediately north of the junction is the Ford Guest House. Park opposite this, in the Cist bus stop area (NM 868 035)
If coming from Taynuilt you can go directly to Ford via Kilchrenan and the west side of Loch Awe. From Dalmally, the route is via Portsonachan and the east side of the loch. Then as above.
At the car park, we’ll pile into fewer cars and drive to the starting point, guided by local member Alan Hawkins.
To bring: Packed lunch, stout waterproof footwear, clothing for all weathers, binoculars, camera etc.
Terrain: Off-road, ground may be very wet in places, there may be obstacles such as fallen trees.
Lifts may be available, please ask (or offer!).
Looking forward to seeing everyone