Turf Blog 25-05-24

Turf Zone – MusselsAhead

Much heated discussion in the Scottish turf universe these past couple of days. Harsh and nasty words written, accusations made to the accused and threats threatened to poor innocent chainsaws as well and the sad thing is all parties involved are local turfers and I know all but one of them. And what is the topic behind all this not-so-merry, nothing-to-do-with-turf, social media banter? Well, it’s the clearing of wind-fall trees and branches from some picturesque bluebell and wild garlic adorned footpaths to zones in the grounds of a local hotel. You can read the whole story on the turf app messaging thingy.

Took myself a wee jaunt on the new bike down to Prestonpans to grab a turfer unique that’s been teasing me for almost a week now. The zone in question was Athena, held by a turfer with the unusual turf name of Lib.dib. Add to that the two I nabbed in Edinburgh on a very wet and miserable Friday, turfers LaRoo and MrPeO, and my grand total now stands at healthy 313. Looking forward to the start of the Scottish Turf Open Weekend 2024 and hoping to add a few visiting turfer uniques to the collection.

My usual route to Musselburgh was foiled today. The cycle path that follows the River Esk was flooded at the A1 underpass, necessitating an alternative route. Not a bad thing actually as it allows you to explore the little lanes and tracks you don’t normally follow. Of course, still blocked for the return journey to Bonnyrigg, so I found myself following the path of the Brunstane Burn, picking off zones along the way. Now, this suggested a new turfing idea. Why not follow the Brunstane Burn from sea to source, taking any associated zones along the way. There’s about 28 of them along the route.

Today, I only went as far as zone Xing, before heading across town towards Little France and Danderhall then onwards to Bonnyrigg. And it was only when I started looking at the proposed route that I realised that the Brunstane Burn does not retain that name for long. It soon become the Niddrie Burn, then Burdiehouse Burn, followed by Lothian Burn and finally the Swanston Burn where it all starts in the Pentland Hills.

Turf Zone – Athena

It’s a similar story with the Figgate Burn, it has various names as well, around 35 zones depending on which tributary your follow, and also ends, or begins, in the Pentland Hills. That’s two turf adventures for the taking. Oh, let’s not forget the Big One, the Water of Leith, starts in Leith and ends at Harperrig Reservoir, at least where zones are concerned. Looking forwards to tacking all of these in due course. Other thoughts are the rivers South Esk and North Esk.

Enjoying riding the new bike, much more comfortable than I imagined, though I will definitely raise the handlebars with the Redstone Top Shelf handlebars when they arrive. I will also be looking at adding some minimal luggage to the bike to save me carrying everything in the rucksack, not that there’s much you can carry with only 8 litres capacity. Thoughts at the moment are to add two bottles’ cages, one for my small water bottle and another for a tool bottle to carry tools, mini pump, spare inner tube, etc. A 4-litre capacity Alpkit “Toploader” handlebar bag with be my main storage with a 1.5 litre Alpkit “Stem Cell” pouch under the saddle. More info in due course.

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