Ben (the forester) and I took our dogs, Jasper and Blane, for a walk in the forest yesterday. I often visit the forest but now that I’m developing an access and recreation plan, I needed to look at the landscape from a different perspective. I am hosting a meeting for invited stakeholders on 26 February and I had in mind people’s requests and suggestions as we trudged through the boggy and muddy ground. We walked up on to the moor on the West Island Way path into Glenmore to look at the condition of the footpath which as you’d imagine is completely saturated due to the heavy rainfall. However, if you enjoy the outdoors as much as we do, the wet weather is unlikely to be a deterrent. We headed for the WWII bunker which opens up to one of the most beautiful views from the island, over the Kyles of Bute. The dogs would barely sit for a moment for us to take a photo before they ran off into the forest again. Ben and I had a look inside the bunker which was in better condition that I expected despite the water ingress. We couldn’t resist making a personal wishlist and thinking of the possibilities due to the building’s unique setting and history. Our last exploration of the day took us to the wilderness campsite near Buttock Point which forms part of the Argyll and Bute Sea Kayak Trail, being developed and managed by Argyll and Bute Council. We really were hugging the coastline as this involved a hands-on clamber over the rocks – for me – Ben and the dogs were like goats. The toilet and shelter look well on their way to completion and will provide kayakers with a remote but welcome resting place. Our wanders through the different areas of the forest reminded us of the fantastic diversity of the landscape both accessible and less accessible, often for good reason such as protecting wildlife, and the many interesting features within. With a hat, good boots and warm layers in-between, it’s fun finding out.