Dr Watson sets down roots with new book

PLANTS: Dr Adam's latest work
PLANTS: Dr Adam's latest work

Royal Deeside’s most recognised polymath, Dr Adam Watson, has published another book entitled, Plants in north-east Highlands.

In his latest publication, his 36th, Dr Watson discusses the timing of blaeberry growth, tree regeneration, land use and plant orientation.

The inspiration for his latest book came from fieldwork on other projects about red grouse and ptarmigan.

In the introduction, ‘Mr Cairngorms’ said: “They were not studies with aims defined at the start.

“Nonetheless, I made observations over many years with broadly similar annual effort. Results may, therefore, be of interest, for published data on these topics by other observers are scanty.”

Throughout the book he criticises invalid claims about land use in Scotland and Norway, and about alleged effects of sporting estates in reducing land fertility.

Dr Watson also noted when blaeberry buds on Scottish alpine land began growth in spring and compared this with data climate.

The tree regeneration project was mapped in Deeside and Donside.

Dr Watsonwas brought up in Turriff in north Aberdeenshire.

In 1939 he developed a deep interest in the Cairngorms and became a mountaineer and ski mountaineer in his boyhood.

When he started school in Turriff he found his own study more interesting than what the curriculum had to offer.

He said: “I read Seton Gordon’s The Cairngorm Hills of Scotland when I was nine. That is what started the love for the Cairngorms and the hills.”

After gaining his Phd in 1956, Dr Watson was involved in a new scheme teaching in schools rather than serving in the military for national service.

After his service, Dr Watson dedicated his life to the study of Scotland’s flora and fauna and is arguably its greatest expert.

His new book ‘Plants in north east Highlands’ can be purchased locally in Yeadons, Banchory and Deeside Books, Ballater.