A Drained Loch in Northern Scotland

snow and ice on the loch

Beautiful isn’t it? Yet, I felt panicked when I saw the loch was being drained. I stood like an angry lorax at the side, pointing at trees that had been felled to carve an ugly canal in the bank, asking irate questions: Why? When will it be fixed? Why?

It didn’t look quite like that then.

mud banks

The freshness of the change was jarring. A conversation made things better. It wasn’t mindless destruction. There was talk of a loch-improving grant. There will be an island to encourage wildlife. There are to be oxidising plants to improve the water quality.

Swans started spending the night in the new shallows of the loch:

whooper swans over the loch

They left a feathery tide:


Sunrise still happens.

sunrise on the shore of the loch

Clouds still gather in dramatic formations.


I walk out onto the frozen floor of the loch and examine long-hidden tree branches, pine cones, old boat jetties and numerous wine bottles (who?). I like getting to know the space in this new way, looking back at the shore, seeing it from a different angle. Nature doesn’t take long to smooth over the tracks of human intervention. There’s been mist, there’s been ice and now there’s snow.

What will Spring look like? I’m not sure, but there’s going to be beauty. There always is.

snow on the loch at sunrsie

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, features an often overlooked event in history, the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, and a love story.



Barnes and Noble


The Mermaid and the Bear is the perfect Christmas gift!
Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair, out 2021

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, out April 1st 2021, was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

See the publisher’s Press Release here




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12 Replies to “A Drained Loch in Northern Scotland”

  1. Ailish, I saw that you had written a new post quite early this morning, but I saved reading it until I had a quiet moment. This kind of sums up my life at the moment! The last phase though ‘there’s going to be beauty. There always is.’

    1. It has been frosty, yes. They dug a deep canal and the water is being channelled away to a deep drain. It will refill from springs in the ground once the canal is closed.

      1. Interesting. Our city has done something similar with the river – flood abatement. They’ve made a canal so flood waters will flow back into the canal and onto a flood plain instead of flooding our commercial center – but first they drained off a portion of the river. It was weird!

  2. I like the way you work around to a reconciliation with the process. I’d be cynical of someone draining any natural feature, sure that they can’t actually ‘know’ all that might happen. But it sounds like this one might work.

  3. I too panicked when I read the first line, but found solace in the explanations given by you.. and the pics and the post.. awesome as ever.. like you said, theres going to be beauty.. there always is..

    take care

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