The Taming of Dowally Burn

Creative Commons License Text by Russel Wills, March 2012 ; This work is dedicated to the Public Domain.
Images are under a separate Creative Commons Licence.



The Source - Loch Ordie

NO0350 : Loch Ordie by Russel Wills NO0250 : Loch Ordie by Russel Wills NO0349 : Lochordie Lodge by Lis Burke
Loch Ordie is an upland loch with crags, trees and rhododendron bushes on its perimeter.
On the south west corner of the loch a row of cottages, Lochordie Lodge, stand up from the loch with steps down to a rudimentary stone pier.

Dowally Burn - flows out of Loch Ordie


NO0249 : The outflow from Loch Ordie by Russel Wills
The level of the weir at the outflow of the loch has been raised by up to 500mm in conjunction with the Dowally Burn Hydro-Electric scheme. It remains to be seen how this will in fact change the shore of the loch. It is hoped that there will not be an ugly scar all around as there is with many of the large hydro-electric reservoirs.



NO0249 : Increasing the volume of water stored in Loch Ordie by Russel Wills

Modifications to the existing weir allow control of the outflow rate from the loch into Dowally Burn to enhance the productivity of the hydro-electric scheme.


NO0249 : Dowally Burn flows out of Loch Ordie by Russel Wills

The burn then flows through the old square notch flow gauge.

Dowally Burn - flows freely

NO0249 : Dowally Burn by Russel Wills NO0249 : Dowally Burn by Russel Wills
The burn meanders now meanders across the moor

NO0249 : Dowally Burn by Russel Wills NO0249 : Footbridge across the Dowally Burn by Becky Williamson NO0149 : Dowally Burn by Russel Wills
under the footbridge and through some rapids.

Dowally Burn - flows into the old reservoir


NO0148 : Old reservoir by Russel Wills
A relic from an old water supply to Dunkeld.

NO0148 : Old dam on Dowally Burn by Russel Wills NO0148 : The spillway on the dam by Russel Wills
The dam and spillway are retained as before.
The very white concrete addition is where the new pipeline flows out of the dam.

Dowally Burn - now partly in a pipe


NO0148 : Ford approaching dam and intake by Russel Wills
The pipe goes under the ford through the remaining Dowally Burn.

NO0148 : Reinstating a demolished dry stone wall by Russel Wills
Reinstating the wall after the pipe has been buried.

NO0148 : Water pipes by James Allan NO0148 : Route of the pipeline by Russel Wills

Pipes to be buried, before and after, with the white posts marking the route.

NO0147 : Earthmoving work by James Allan NO0147 : The white concrete posts mark the route of the pipeline by Russel Wills

Digging the ditch for the pipe and after it is installed.

The depleted Dowally Burn - beside the pipe


NO0148 : Dowally Burn by Russel Wills NO0148 : Bridge over Dowally Burn by Russel Wills


The burn continues alongside the pipe and under the old bridge.

NO0147 : Tidying up by Russel Wills NO0147 : Raor Lodge by Russel Wills


Tidying up at Raor Lodge.

The depleted Dowally Burn - plunges into its gorge


NO0147 : Waterfall on Dowally Burn by Russel Wills NO0147 : Waterfall on Dowally Burn by Russel Wills

At Raor Lodge there is a waterfall where the burn begins its tumble through the gorge.

NO0147 : Dowally Burn  by Russel Wills NO0147 : Dowally Burn by Russel Wills NO0047 : Dowally gorge by Russel Wills

In the wooded gorge.


NO0147 : Remnants of an old pipeline beside Dowally Burn by Russel Wills NO0047 : Derelict mill on Dowally Burn by Russel Wills


Deep in the trees is evidence of earlier uses of the burn, an old broken pipeline and the shell of an old mill.


The penstock pipe goes down through the fields


NO0147 : Route of the pipeline by Russel Wills NO0147 : Reinstated dry stone wall by Russel Wills NO0047 : Route of the pipeline by Russel Wills

The white markers show where the pipeline goes under arable fields and another reinstated wall

NO0147 : Exposed penstock of Dowally Hydro-Electric Scheme by Russel Wills NO0147 : Exposed pipeline by Russel Wills


Sometimes still visible until everything is tested and working.

Destination - powerhouse


NO0047 : The last post by Russel Wills
The last post


NO0047 : The powerhouse at the foot of the pipeline by Russel Wills
The powerhouse containing turbine and generator.


NO0047 : The Powerhouse by Russel Wills
The powerhouse ready for production.
The tailrace is buried underground.


Its work done the water is returned to the Dowally Burn


NO0047 : The outfall of the tailrace by Russel Wills
The buried tailrace emerges from its pipe.


Reunited the Dowally Burn flows on


NO0047 : Dowally Burn - complete again by Russel Wills NO0048 : Dowally Burn by Russel Wills
The 'complete' Dowally Burn flows on.
Who would guess the work it has done - homes heated and lit, kettles boiled and TVs powered - all without burning fossil fuels and the environment virtually unaffected.
Hopefully electricity will be produced by mid May.



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