The first of the rest.
Hawker Hurricane LD564 nr Loch Doon.
(Distance covered = 2.6 mile)

I'd been idling away the days at Heather's competition's by watching DVD's in the car, catching up on my sleep or having a wander around the locale. It was the Hurricane in the forest near Loch Doon that gave me the idea of filling the days in more productivly.

While passing the time of day at a previous competition in Dumfries, I had visited the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum. The museum had recovered a Spitfire from Loch Doon which was away being restored at the time, so when I got home I searched the interweb for any photos of what they had recovered. After 'googling' "aircraft crashes in Loch Doon", I found photos of the Spitfire recovery but I also happened upon photos of Hawker Hurricane remains in the forest next to Loch Doon.

Loch Doon

 I knew there was a competition coming up at the Cumnock Highland games which wasn't very far up the road from Loch Doon, so I hatched a plan to drop the girls at the competition then nip down to have a look for the Hurricane. As I hadn't been wreckhunting for quite a considerable length of time this site would be a good reintroduction as there wasn't too great a distance involved.


Car Parked overlooking the forest where the crashsite is located.

I could see on the map that there was a carpark down the bottom end of Loch Doon which would mean I would only have a couple of miles to walk. At the end of the road where the carpark was situated, there was an open forest gate, so I shortened the walk even further by going through it and driving another mile or so along a forest track. I would have regretted doing this if a forestry worker had come along and locked the gate later on!.


getting used to the new camera;same photo, different settings

Once parked I only had a mile to go to reach the crashsite, half of that on forest track and half through the woods. The second leg through the woods was going to take twice as long as the first leg on the track.


Walking round the bottom end of Loch Doon.

During my first shift of wreckhunting I had searched for another wrecksite in Kielder Forest on 3 occasions. On my first visit I went the long way around, climbed up to the top of Glendhu Hill to find the start of a burn that passed close to the wrecksite, then followed that down into the forest and found the crashsite quite easily. On the 2nd and 3rd visits I took a more direct route, walking up into the forest from below, on both those occasions despite having already been to the location, I failed to find it. So when I planned this trip to Loch Doon I remembered the problems I experienced in Kielder and instead of making straight for the crashsite through the woods I followed easily identifiable features, mostly firebreaks.The fact that the Hurricane wreckage was also lying in a firebreak also helped.

The remains of the Hurricane had been taped off, I assume to protect them from Forestry activity.

The firebreaks in this forest were very boggy, and flooded in some places. It was taking me quite a while to make any progress into the woods as I was having to make numerous diversions to avoid large flooded areas and very wet bogs. About 400 yards into the trees I gave up on trying to keep my feet dry and began wading through the mud, this made progress much quicker.


Rolls Royce Merlin engine

Apart from a little confusion when I came across a newly constructed forest track that wasn't on my map, I found the crashsite of the Hurricane without any difficulty. The first thing I could see was long lengths of yellow tape tied between the trees, perhaps Baldrick and his Time Team buddies had been here before me.


The front end of the engine has been smashed off.


gears to drive ancilliary componants on the back end of the engine.


As well as suffering damage in the crash the engine has also sufferd vandalism from Graverobbing Souvenier hunting Muppets.


The engines crankshaft and piston big ends

Apart from the engine the largest part is this wingspar section.


The propeller hub, still attached to the end of the crankshaft which has snapped off.

The trip to find this Hurricane served two important purposes for me. it made me realise how much I missed these little excursions to look for crashsites and it made me realise how fat and unfit I had become.
Two things that I would quickly put right.