Its a plan drawing of the Croft, illustrating what's where and shows how things relate to each other. I created this from the photos we took at the viewing, from memory and from Bing Maps (the satellite image seemed more detailed than Google in this particular area).
Using this as a basis, we hope to come up with new ideas and solutions to improve, take forward and develop the place. Giving it a little more structure and utilising the space as best we can; but ensuring we retain the essence of its wildness - without having to resort to running around naked and painted in wode!
As you can see, there are already areas suited to various tasks and undertakings. For instance, the Broadleaf Woodland is the perfect area for visitors to stay and relax. With stunning views out through the trees, and across the Loch, its a truly magical place. With the yurt already in situ, we should be able to welcome guests fairly quickly - once I have built a composting loo (more on this in a future post - I bet you can't wait for that one!) and shower, that is...
Ideas and possibilities, that we have been considering, include:
1. Getting chickens (for their eggs and possibly the table, on special occasions) and placing them and their coop in the "Orchard".
2. Rearing goats (for their milk and friendship), thinking in the "Rough Grass & Scrub" area just north of the house.
3. Establishing a vegetable plot (probably raised beds of some description) just west of the house - between it and the wind turbine.
4. Growing a herb garden, close to the house, on the south side.
5. Creating a pond that is possibly oxygenated by the stream - not sure where to put this yet (suggestions on a postcard - or better still in the comments box)...
6. Fencing off the lower portion of the "Long Grass Meadow", down near the wind turbine, to seed wild flowers and have a couple of beehives.
7. Creating a small patch of oats, or some other grain - I do love my porridge in the mornings and what could be more Scottish!
8. Adding a couple of small camping 'glades' to the woodland; possibly with one more yurt or bell tent; building a communal firepit-style area (maybe for sing-alongs - Kumbaya).
I'll go into more detail about the above subjects/areas, and impart any help and advice I discover, in future posts. No doubt after I have written about the composting loo, which I'll try and do at my convenience...
After much research, we are going to try and practice Permaculture. This is where, instead of traditional farming/agriculture, you work with, and utilise, nature. For instance, you grow (edible/useful) plants on the forest floor - ones that like it there - instead of cutting all the trees down, to then plant something that needs more light.
Permaculture also centres around zoning. These zones radiate out from the house, depending on how frequently different places need to be worked. Zone 0 being the house, Zone 1 often being the vegetable patch, Zone 2 livestock, Zone 3 Orchards etc. (I'm not sure what zone the Loch will end up being!). These are just loose parameters and a lot depends on what you have and how it fits. The main thing is its a much less impactful way of doing things and (as mentioned above) fits in with trying to keep the place somewhat wild and not too 'cultivated' in places.
I'll write and post more on Permaculture as I learn more and, of course, once I am practicing it. But the above plan drawing will be a good tool to scribble ideas on. I have also posted it in the hope that you (the reader) will comment, with some ideas and suggestions - especially if you have experience of this and can see obvious advantages and uses for areas, that I may have not thought about, so far.