29.03.2013 - Bute spared worst of unseasonal winter blastSomewhat over a year ago Bute was battered by strong winds from 'Hurricane Bawbag' around the New Year of 2012. At the edge of the farm this tore up the Landmark Trust's trees bringing down large sections of the beautiful old march wall between our two properties.
We hear the Landmark Trust is selling one of its buildings on Bute due to years of falling occupancy rates and hope that they will contribute to their half of the re-building costs of the wall when we get round to it this summer following last years appalling wet weather which has so far ruled out the necessary repairs.
This Spring - or is it Winter? - Bute was lucky to escape a huge dump of snow which landed on nearby Arran, cutting the electricity supply and causing chaos in an event reminiscent of Bute's own 3-4 day power cut of early 2012.
As lambing had just started this couldn't have come at a worse time.
Those who admire the views and think how wonderful it all looks would do well to remember the farmers who do all the hard work maintaining everything, and who tend to suffer the most from severe weather events bringing down roofs, tearing down walls or killing livestock. Rural insurers such as the NFU play their part in helping get things back together but all of these incidents cost, and increasingly severe incidents appear to be occurring every year.
There is not often a whole lot of money in farming and given the recent stormy, unseasonal and often severe weather patterns - which we are told we can expect more of as the climate changes - it is no wonder that many farmers are looking to diversify activities, perhaps by generating renewable energy on their land.