Tree Tales

by Alasdair Laing

It’s National Tree Week this week.  Every year since 1975 National Tree Week has marked the start of the winter tree planting season with a programme of events – that cannot happen this year because of Covid but there’s lots happening on line.

Here at Logie trees are a major part of our lives.  Moray, in the days when counties still existed, was the most wooded county in Scotland in relation to its size.  That means we have a lot of experience in growing trees as well as a hugely varied mosaic of trees of all types. 

There are champion specimens of their species, rare and interesting plant and tree communities, particularly on the river banks, and commercial plantations producing timber for our own sawmill, other mills and an energy efficient biomass plant which heats Logie Steading and the surrounding houses.

As you walk along the river paths keep your eyes open for some of the features which make trees, where they grow and what can be done with them, so special.  There is something about the river valley – probably a combination of fertile soils and damp conditions – that seems to “draw” up the trees.

On an old 1775 map the bank behind the Steading is marked as “Wet Spoutie Brea” – ideal for growing trees.

planting trees at covid copse

As you walk upstream along the steep bank on the path from the steading play park you’ll see some newly planted trees on your left. This year we teamed up with The Woodland Trust to plant an area which needed some attention and will forever more be known as “Covid Copse”.  The Trust gave us  the majority of the plants, oak, birch, hazel and alder and the shelters to help them grow; we added some specimen tress grown here at Logie, did the planting and will look after the trees in future.

divie bridge

Before you cross the Divie Bridge look at the plantation in front of you.  These are Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis).  There are still one or two particularly big trees visible probably planted in the early 20th century.

In the 1960s two trees from this plantation were sent to Singapore to be used as radio masts.

champion sitka landscape

If you get beyond Randolph’s Leap look out for these two trees.  The one on the left is a Douglas Fir and, at 60m the tallest in Moray, but the one on the right is the special one – it’s a Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) and, at 63m, is the tallest in the country.

The past year has made a lot of people stop and think a bit about lifestyles, mental and physical health and the environment in which we all live and on which we depend.  Trees have a big part to play in how we deal with climate crisis, they help us to stabilise, and even restore, biodiversity loss, they give us areas for peaceful recreation and thought and last, but by no means least, they provide a livelihood for those who grow and process them.

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Tree Tales

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.