A good day for Heather
Wellington N2883 in Glen Morriston.
(Distance covered = 5.3mile/Ascent = +311m)

A long drive up to Inverness for the North of Scotland Highland Dancing Championships mean't an early start but by the end of the day it was going to prove to be well worth it.

After dropping the girls at the competition venue in Inverness it was off down the A82 along the side of Loch Ness, past all the Nessy tourist traps to Glen Morriston.


ample parking at Balnacairn in Glen Morriston

I had looked for this site earlier in the year on my way up to Torridon but on that occasion I only had a grid ref for the memorial cairn, so searched around that area for any remains without success. I then found out that the aircraft had actually crashed about a mile further uphill, necessitating a return visit. A chat with an old Lady walking her even older Labrador comfirmed that there was "pieces of metal" just out the top of the plantation, roughly where I had N2883 marked on my map so with my good luck with the Scottish weather continuing I set of up the road into the Forestry plantation with high hopes of finding something.


The road into the plantation can be seen on the right.

There are two routes I could have taken, a good forest road that leads about halfway through the plantation, it was built during the installation of a pipeline up the hillside. It was not marked on my o/s map but I knew it was there thanks to google earth and my previous visit, or there is a path marked on the map that runs all the way up the western side of the plantation. Despite not knowing what the going would be like once the pipeline road ended I decided to take that route anyway and the gamble paid off as at the end of the pipeline road there was a reasonably good quad track to follow that went right through to the top of the plantation.


View west from the pipeline road just before it enters the Plantation


A 7ft Deer fence and the gate is locked, there were 3 of these to negotiate

Not too far into the plantation is a large cairn which according to an archaeological survey done prior to installation of the pipeline was built to commemorate a WWII era plane crash nearby! Although Wellington N2883 is another mile uphill its the only plane crash anywhere near so must be the one in question.

The stone Cairn, its about 6ft high

Once through the top of the plantation there was two more Deer Fences to negotiate, although one had a gate further up the hill which merited a slight diversion. No sign of the Wellington crashsite was immediately apparent and a thorough search around the grid ref I had proved unsuccesful, however remembering how the Old Lady had described it as being "just out the top of the plantation" I moved my search a little further south and came across some fragments well hidden in the heather.


Parts of the Wellington are hidden in the heather around the boulder in the centre

There are quite a few fragments scattered around, the largest piece being a lump of wing spar. Most of the pieces are concealed under heather but there are a couple of  small collections of pieces most notable beside a large boulder.


A piece of Wellington N2883


The largest remaining part is a bit of wingspar, an identical piece can be found at the Wellington crashsite in Glen Affric(see here) and on Muckle Cairn(see here)





 I decided to return by the path that runs down the west of the plantation, this would mean no deer fences to scale as there was a gate.This path appeared to be little used and was indistinct and very boggy in places, it ducked in and out of the plantation and was plagued with fallen trees necessitating numerous diversions.There also seemed to be a proliferation of biting insects,sheep ticks and spiders making this route really good fun,it eventually emerged about 300yrds further along the road from where I parked the car. I was pleased I chose the pipeline road on my ascent.


Boggy and indistinct path down the west side of the plantation.

Although there was little left at the crashsite it proved to be an interesting walk from the navigating point of view as although it was a comparativly low level site finding a way through plantations is always challenging and once on the open moorland the remaining pieces of Wellington were well hidden by the heather and not visible until you were literally standing on top of them, so I was pleased that I suceeded in finding any remains .
To end the day off nicely I returned to Inverness to the news that Heather had done brilliantly finishing a very creditable 3rd place in the Championships which included a superb 2nd place in the Swords.