Book looks at ‘ugly’ Deeside

Ugly Deeside: The new book by Dr Adam Watson
Ugly Deeside: The new book by Dr Adam Watson

Dr Adam Watson has written a new book which examines the adverse effects on the landscape by irresponsible land management.

In the foreword to ‘Ugly Deeside’, Mr Cairngorms writes that the book is about “a misuse of taxpayers’ money” through a “disregard for sustainable forestry” by state agencies who employ large timber machines.

On why he decided to write the book, Dr Watson said: “I saw what was going on, and I’m a scientist, and foresters told me what they thought, and they generally disapproved.

“My friend Derek Pyper noticed a terrible mess in the old Caledonian Forest - he took a photo, and I sent it to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). They had to take some action so there was a site visit by SNH, but really no action was taken.

“They said the Forestry Commission would instruct the landowner how better to apply the standards, but this was hopelessly weak.

“They seemed more interested in trying to get around a mess rather than tackling it so it wouldn’t happen again in the future.”

In the book, horse-logging is explored in some detail - an alternative, low-impact method for thinning forests, more suited to the British climate, where the ground is seldom frozen hard enough to withstand heavy timber machines.

Dr Watson added: “The woods of Deeside are world famous, and horse logging is a tradition that should go on, but we’ve got a forestry commission and some landowners that are too interested in short-term gains.”

Dr Watson’s latest book is available both locally and on Amazon’s website.