Wednesday 16 August 2023

A minor change in the local landscape


The above picture shows Tom Mor, a local hill I've seen every day for the last 33 years except when I've been away. It's a rounded bump just 484 metres high that I wander up once or twice a year. It was used for grouse shooting but in recent years that's stopped and young trees are starting to sprout through the heather. The views along Strathspey to the Cairngorms are excellent. I have seen fine sunsets from Tom Mor (see this post) and fine dawns from summit camps, as in the photo below. 

Tom Mor is so familiar that I rarely do more than glance at it unless the sky or the light attracts me. On this day the purple of the heather caught my eye so I took the photo at the top of this post. As I did so something didn't look right. It took me a few seconds to realise what it was. The tall communications mast near the summit had gone. The hill looks different without it. I remembered that earlier in the year I'd found the building by the mast unlocked for the first time ever. I couldn't resist a look inside where I found masses of wiring and cupboards of electronic equipment. The place looked long abandoned. Old notices on the walls referred to police communications. I never had found out what the mast was for. 

You can see the mast clearly in the photo above, taken in 2004. It was really prominent. It's marked on OS maps too. I wonder how long before it disappears there. 

Soon I'll have to go up and have a look at the site. In the meantime I have a changed view to get used to. Nothing is permanent but much seems to be and that mast on Tom Mor certainly did. It wasn't attractive but it was familiar. For that reason I think I'll miss it.


  1. I won't miss it, not having your past, but the line of the hill is now closer to fine!

    1. Overall I am pleased it's gone. The hill does look better without it.