A Tale of Two Kicks
DH Mosquito DD795 and Avro Anson DG787 on Corserine and Dakota K-14 on Carlin's Cairn.
(Distance covered = 9.5 mile/Ascent = +969m)

Solway Championships at Dumfries, girls wanted dropping off at 8.30am and the estimated finishing time was 6pm so the ideal opportunity to visit the plane wrecks on Corserine in the Rhinns of Kell just north of Dumfries.

I was starting out from Forrest Lodge which is in the middle of a large forestry and shooting estate but walkers appeared to be welcome judging by the well maintained carpark, signs and marked trails, plus it was sunday so no shooting or forestry activities anyways.

Corserine hiding in the mist

The first two to three miles are along forestry tracks so I utilised my pushbike to save a bit of time on the walk in. This plan did not work so well on the way out as it was uphill all the way so I ended up pushing the bike.It took me about an hour to where I had to ditch the bike, but on the return journey it took me 6 minutes back to the car without the need to pedal once! so what was lost on the roundabouts was more than made up on the swings!
However I dont quite know how I didn't end up flying of the bike into a ditch!

The end of the forest track and where I ditched the bike.

After hiding the bike at the end of the forest track there was a good track with red marker posts to follow, the path turns off to the right into the trees with some muddy boggy bits to negotiate before emerging onto open ground.

The path heading through the trees, having encountered Deer fences before I was pleased about the promised stile!

Several signs are passed along the way promising a stile to cross a Deer fence, In case anyone has never encountered a deer fence before they are usually about 7ft high wire fences designed to foil the Deer's in built ability to jump over things, therefore a stile or gate is always a welcome option.

A photo taken on our visit here in 2023 showing that this path has now been improved considerably and the deer fence signs and indeed the deer fence have been removed.

Above and below:-Out of the trees and good views of the climb ahead.

Once out of the trees there is a nice little path that winds it's way up and around the back of the crags to the right of the Folk Burn onto the ridge above the Polmaddy Gairy. (Gairy is gaelic for steep rocky place.)

Looking back down the path towards North Gairy on the right

From the edge of the forest to the ridge above Polmaddy Gairy there was that eerie light and calmness that usually preceeds a storm and just before reaching the summit plateau of Corserine the aforementioned storm made an appearance, just a bit of high wind and freezing hailstone which luckily didnt last too long.

The wrecksite of DH Mosquito DD795

The same shot as above 5 minutes later after the storm cleared

Being made of wood there's nothing much left of the Mosquito other than some bits of engine bearers and pieces of undercarriage.The wrecksite lies above an area known as 'The scar of the Folk', it would appear that along with all the gairy's in the vicinity that Scotland's ministry of silly names had been working overtime but with a little thought the names actually make sense, in this instance a scar on the hillside caused by the Folk burn!

Above and below:-Amazingly after lying on a Scottish Mountain for 70 years or so, some of the Mosquito's wooden structure has survived.

 It also appears that the recovery crew at the time collected the wooden parts from the broken plane into two pits and set it on fire leaving hundreds of wood screws and pieces of molten alloy.

One of the two pits whose contents suggest that the remains of the Mosquito's wooden components were collected here and burned.

Screws and pieces of melted alloy in one of the two pits.

Looking over the Mosquito wreckage to North Gairy and North Gairy Top

In may of 2023 I returned to this site with my freind Stuart from Northern Ireland but instead of taking the easy tourist route to the top of Corserine we walked over to the base of the Scar of the Folk and ascended the very steep slope below the crashsite to look for any bits that had tumbled down the hill.

Approaching the Mosquito crashsite from below.

The Mosquito crashed at the top of this ridge about centre of the photo, this slope was a lot steeper than it looks from this angle.

above and below:-On the way up the slope, although we did find several pieces of Mosquito on the way up here there was not as much as we anticipated.

More wreckage photos.

From the Mosquito wreck it was a nice easy and level walk about 1km to the west to find the site of an Avro Anson crash which lies very near to the summit of Corserine.

Heading towards Corserine summit, the trig point can be seen on the horizon, the Anson is 200yrds to the right of the trig point

The crashsite of Avro Anson DG787, Carlin's Cairn in the background

The Anson site consists of a large circular area of rocks intermingled with lots of tiny parts from the Anson. The vegetation appears to have been burned off by the crash, or the recovery crew torching the remains and as is often the case at crashsites has not recovered. I would also summise here that high winds have blown away all the soil leaving the circular area of barren rocks.The largest remaining part of the Anson is a battery.

The Ansons battery, the rocky slopes to the right of Carlin's Cairn in the background(Castlemaddy Gairy) is where a Belgian Dakota crashed

Some of the small parts from the anson lying amongst the rocks.

above and below:-A couple more photos of the Anson crashsite taken on our visit in may 2023.

More crashsite photos.

After visiting the Anson I was running short of time so decided to leave the Dakota wreckage on Castlemaddy Gairy for another trip*, I did have just enough time to find a large wing section that is lying in the plantation at the bottom of the slope.

The Dakota wing section lying below Castlemaddy Gairy

From the Dakota wing section I took a direct route between the north of Polmaddy Gairy and Craigrine over the top and down the other side to rejoin the path I had followed up, then it was back into the tress and the exhillerating 6 minute bike ride downhill all the way back to the car.

The location of the Dakota's wing section outlined in yellow

As for the Solway Championships, Heather did really well getting 5ths in two of her dances but she kicked her swords** so was disqualified from the third and in the 4th she was accidently kicked by another dancer and lost her balance so got nothing in that dance either.

*--Dakota, 2nd visit

**--Sword Dance