Knockan, Moray. Section 21A.
Height – 372 metres. Map – OS Landranger 28.
Climbed - 9 October 2011. Time taken – 1.5 hours.
Distance – 5 kilometres. Ascent 180 metres.
Trip Report Details:
The sub 2000 Marilyn, Knockan, was located to the south-east of Ben Aigan, which I had climbed earlier that day. My plan was also to ascend Knockan from the A95 but I wasn’t sure of the exact route. While on the summit of Ben Aigan I studied possible routes to Knockan and decided to climb it along the field edges just south of the Braes of Auchlunkart forest.
I drove south on the A95 and noted that the ground to the east appeared rather wet and marshy so I dismissed my original plan and parked on the grass verge just south of the access road to Knockan Farm. I walked up the farm road and passed the south side of this property with the intention of continuing along the track shown on my map. However I noticed cattle were obstructing the route so I decided to use the adjoining field.
At that point the local farmer approached so I stopped and spoke to him. He had no problem with me accessing the hill and when I mentioned the cattle he also suggested using the adjoining field. We spoke about the windfarm which he was in favour of although they weren’t being constructed on his land. He headed off along the track on his quad bike with his border collie perched on the rear.
The suggested route along the edge of the field was followed as the cows, their calves and the bull went a bit wild. I wasn’t sure if this was due to my presence or the farm dog so I was pleased to be on the other side of the fence, although I didn’t think it would stop a stampede. As the farmer rounded up his sheep I continued along the edge of a second field, still bounding the field of cattle.
I walked across a third field where a crop had been harvested and beyond there was a set of fences to cross, both topped with barbed wire. Once on the other side I was in long heather with a brief respite when I crossed a vehicle track. However the awkwardness of the long heather was short lived as I soon came to areas where the heather appeared to have been cut which made for easier walking as I meandered towards the top, avoiding the wind turbines. Two had already been constructed while a third was in the process of being put together. Sections of others were lying across the hillside. Apparently 21 turbines are to be erected here.
A small cairn was reached but apparently the highest point was 30 metres to the north so I paced out this distance and came to a tuft of heather that could possibly be described as being slightly higher than the surrounding ground. I then headed back to the cairn where I sat and ate my lunch with views of the turbines. The return was by the ascent route with the cattle still showing an interest, probably protecting their calves.
Photos taken on walk.