Loch of Blairs
Loch of Blairs is approximately 11 hectares in area and sits in the north-western area of Altyre Estate, lying close to the town of Forres in Moray. With easy access from the Forres to Grantown (A940) road and the minor road which connects the A940 to Mannachie Road at Dallas Dhu distillery the loch is also only 1.65km from the national footpath The Dava Way.
Once used as a trout fishery by anglers in the area the availability of boat hire ceased around 15 years ago. Since then the loch has sat quietly in its surroundings, becoming an almost secret gem of a destination for dog walkers and bird watchers who are “in the know” of the tracks and trails around its perimeter.
Over 70% of the perimeter of the loch is now covered by reed growth that prohibits access to the water but which provides important habitat for wildlife. Around 50% of the shoreline is also inaccessible due to dense infestation by Rhododendrons. The loch itself also supports very heavy aquatic weed growth due to diffuse pollution from adjacent farmland and lack of maintenance.
In summary – the lack of use of the loch for out door activities has led to mother nature getting a little too much out of control! With careful restoration the loch can be brought back into balance and become a natural refuge for wildlife and beautiful amenity for the local community.
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