Geograph Blog ::

Completing Islay's gridsquares

By Becky Williamson

To anyone who is as much an anorak as I am about grid squares, more specifically Scottish grid squares and, to be even more precise, Scottish island grid squares – OK, Islay’s 743 – you may have noticed I submitted my final photograph for the island (NR2971) on Monday 28th March 2016.

NR2971 : In the middle of Loch Gruinart by Becky Williamson

OK, I doubt anyone has noticed. No-one except me and my nine faithful followers had even an incline of knowledge that Thursday 24th March 2016 was a significant Geograph day for me.

I started submitting photographs to Geograph in 2010 on a walk in a remote part of the island

NR3670 : Gleann Airigh an t-Sluic, Islay by Becky Williamson
NR3571 : View NE from Beinn Bhreac by Becky Williamson

and somewhere along the way decided I’d do all the Islay ones – easy as that’s where I lived – or so I thought. I counted them up – 743 accessible ones (I just know someone is going to go and count them and prove me wrong)! When I say ‘accessible’, I mean accessible by foot. I qualified my quest after realising how difficult it was to access the islets off Islay’s shores, although I have done most of them too.

I planned walks which covered as many gridsquares as possible and got annoyed if a circular walk left just one unphotographed square in the middle of nowhere. Much of Islay is difficult terrain; there are very few footpaths and it is nearly always boggy underfoot with hidden holes, annoying fences, thick vegetation and sudden coastal inlets making walking very difficult. Friends joined me and didn’t moan too much when I suggested venturing just a wee bit further north/south/east/west in order to get into a gridsquare. “But we’re not going that way, Becky,” they protested. Once I left friends at a beach whilst I wandered on for the sake of a northerly grid square.

NR3776 : Coastline south of Mala Bholsa, Islay by Becky Williamson

When I returned they were all watching an otter.

Another time I hopped across tussocks in a blizzard whilst my friends groaned and carried on, heads down; they the sensible ones and me getting wet and miserable, all for the sake of a photograph

NR3469 : The snow begins to clear, Loch na Leoig, Islay by Becky Williamson

Some good friends took me on a boat trip to get to Nave Island, made up of four grid squares and I managed to get all four on that occasion, as well as a host of squares which were more easily accessible by boat.

NR2875 : Shingle beach, Nave Island, Islay by Becky Williamson
NR2975 : Chapel, Nave Island, Islay by Becky Williamson
NR2876 : The northern side of Nave Island, Islay by Becky Williamson
NR2976 : Nave Island trigpoint, Islay by Becky Williamson

I was also privileged to get to Orsay Island

NR1651 : Orsay Chapel and Lighthouse, Islay by Becky Williamson

and Texa island and get all the squares on two separate occasions.

NR3943 : Chapel on Texa by Becky Williamson

NR3843 : Sgeirean Poll a' Chaca, Texa by Becky Williamson

Of course I wanted a full Geograph stamp for each photograph and so, unsatisfied with supplementary status, I had to revisit some squares which I’d only photographed from afar in my pre-serious days.

NR4055 : Loch nam Breac, Islay by Becky Williamson and

NR3948 : Loch Sholum, Islay by Becky Williamson

I was always particularly excited when I got a first for a square or a Tpoint. Of course that was more likely to happen with squares such as NR3754

NR3754 : Ditch in moorland east of Torra, Islay by Becky Williamson

or NR4159

NR4159 : Moorland and deer fence west of Glas Bheinn, Islay by Becky Williamson

which are pretty featureless and bang in the middle of nowhere.

Now, in the name of all things anorak and purely because I’ve left the best place in the world behind and want to pay tribute to it, here are my ten favourite Islay gridsquares, in no particular order:

NR3671 - NR3671 : Airigh Màiri Thormaid, Islay by Becky Williamson

NR2362 - NR2362 : Ruined croft above Gleann na h-Uamha, Islay by Becky Williamson

NR2170 - NR2170 : Trigpoint at Cnoc Uamh nam Fear, Islay by Becky Williamson

NR4178 - NR4178 : Bagh an Da Dhoruis, Islay by Becky Williamson

NR3877 - NR3877 : The ruin of Bolsa, Islay by Becky Williamson

NR3974 - NR3974 : Margadale, Islay by Becky Williamson

NR4362 - NR4362 : Abhainn Gleann Logain, Islay by Becky Williamson

NR4658 - NR4658 : Beach north of Proaig, Islay by Becky Williamson

NR2845 - NR2845 : Caves on the north side of Astle Bay, Islay by Becky Williamson
NR4256 - NR4256 : Looking south-east along ridge of Beinn Bheigier, Islay by Becky Williamson

Loading map...
Marker only shows grid square

Fri, 1 Apr 2016 at 19:13
Grid Square
geotagged! NR2971

blog comments powered by Disqus
You are not logged in login | register