By Jonathan Wordsworth
Cycling regularly along the north shore of the Beauly Firth from North Kessock to Tarradale, I have noted just past Coulmore Point a small patch of woodland with a collection of twisted multi-stemmed trees. Consisting predominantly of oak but with a mixture of species including ash and beech, the trees are widely spaced and used as shelter by stock grazing the field above. As a result the wood has an open and sparse aspect.
The curving and multiple stems of the trees in the woodland show that this is a rare survival for this area of a former coppiced woodland, where the stems were cut down to supply timber on a regular cycle of 15-20 years.
Earlier maps show it was one of two similar sized copses set beside the road and on the edge of the raised beach. They are both shown as wooded on the land utilisation survey of the 1930s shown below, though the western copse has now disappeared.