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Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill


by Graeme D » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:44 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Turin Hill

Date walked: 09/10/2012

Time taken: 1.1 hours

Distance: 4.8 km

Ascent: 195m

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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby kevsbald » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:37 pm

Hmmm. I am a friend of Graeme's and find the man's tone in excess. Clearly, he was an a***.

However, I'm going to try and justify to a minor degree, if I can, why he may have been so aggressive.
He was worried about the dog either a) chasing, b) scaring/biting the sheep and/or, he knows about the potential pathogens, which a dog can carry that MAY be ingested by a sheep e.g Toxocariasis, IF it defaecates on the land and the sheep eats it. This, in theory, could happen but is unlikely. Since the right to roam act, I know a few farmers who have issues with walkers/ramblers, partly because they may bring viruses etc on their footwear as was the case during Foot and Mouth Disease in England - hence the washing of footwear/tyres etc. However, it would be helpful if they had a sign pointing a way up the hill, which circumvented the farmer's land, if this was his worry. It just requires a little sign and some forethought.

It is a rather poor justification of his shocking behaviour however and am all for heading to Turin Hill en masse.

Sorry to read of your experience Graeme. He may have just had small-man syndrome.
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Moobli » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:37 pm

The farmer in this case clearly was an arse! No doubt about that.

My feeling is that there was a clear lack of communication on the farmer's side. I am guessing (and am a shepherd's wife) that he may have been concerned about the bottle-neck effect on the sheep that a walker coming up the narrow path with a dog could cause. Sheep tend to baulk at a person standing in their way, and even if Graeme had stood to the side, it could have been enough to force the sheep through the fence on the right hand side (looks a poor fence from what I can see). Just for future reference and for those who don't know, the best way past a flock of sheep heading towards you is to keep in tight to the fence but keep moving, without looking at the sheep, and they will then tend to trickle by without any problems. All it required was for the farmer involved to have had a quick chat about it, and there would have been no problems.

Nice report anyway, and it gave me a few chuckles.
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Graeme D » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:52 am

Right Nathan! Cancel the Clachaig! Find a bunkhouse near Forfar........ :lol:

Seriously though, after a couple of days to reflect on this and read the comments, the rights and wrongs of the whole thing are quite clear to me.

Maybe I should have predicted the fact that taking the dog was likely to be noticed and frowned upon, given the proximity of my planned route to a, presumably, working farm. But then I guess I did predict that, but still decided to take her with me. I don't often take her hill walking these days as she's getting too old for some of the bigger hill routes, so this looked ideal for her. I guess that wherever you take a dog walking, there exists the potential for somebody to get annoyed by it, and I refuse to simply not take her with me in the off chance.....

But maybe that was an error of judgement on my part. However, all the aggression and negativity came from his side (my A*SE comment aside, but hey, calm composure only goes so far). The communication idea is an interesting one that various people have raised. Should I have gone to the extent of googling West Mains of Turin Farm so I could phone ahead? No, I really don't think so, and presumably I would have been told to "f**k off" down the phone. I think I did all I reasonably could. After calmly pressing the case for Lucy once and once only, I compromised and returned her to the car. Going by the farmer's ridiculous and offensive comment when he saw me returning, he clearly thought that he had got his way, that he had flexed his muscle and seen off the ignorant, pesky little "rambler" who was clearly going to drop litter, leave gates open and blunder incompetently around the place. He probably had a good old chuckle to himself at the access laws while he was at it. I suspect he doesn't get many walkers, this being a small, fairly insignificant hill in the eyes of many hill walkers, so maybe he is a little "uneducated" in some of the issues involved, not to mention clearly lacking in people skills and a naturally aggressive personality. It was perhaps telling that my willingness and ability to remain calm and not descend to his level seemed to antagonise him even more.

Clearly however, I was on his terrain, so to speak. He had the upper hand. He knew what work he was doing, and where, and how long it would take. He knew my route better than I did. He could quite simply have suggested an alternative, more circuitous route. I asked him as much, so he had every opportunity to do so, but he blanked me. He could have asked if I didn't mind waiting for half an hour or so - this would have been enough time for the sheep to pass and for me to continue on my walk, where I encountered no more livestock for the remainder. I didn't think of this and he clearly didn't either or just wasn't interested.

I understand that farming is an intensive, hard, stressful way to make a living, and many things conspire against farmers - low prices for their produce, poor weather, genuinely irresponsible walkers (and heaven knows, most of us on here know that they do exist). Maybe this guy is stressed up to his eyeballs with pressures of one sort or another. But as most people seem to agree, he is clearly also an AR*E.
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Jockstar » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:54 am

Well done Graham for keping to your plan.....as for the farmers ...more to be pitied than scolded!
Defo a place for a WH meet...hehe! :lol:
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Johnny Corbett » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:06 am

Nobody should take that kind of abuse when out walking. I can only think for the farmer to be so angry, he has came across irresponsible walkers in the past and possibly lost sheep due to dogs attacking them but surely if this was the case he could have spoken to you in a pleasant manner and explained his reasons :?
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Moobli » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:08 pm

As you said :

"Clearly however, I was on his terrain, so to speak. He had the upper hand. He knew what work he was doing, and where, and how long it would take. He knew my route better than I did. He could quite simply have suggested an alternative, more circuitous route."


And this is absolutely the crux of it imo. The lack of communication was on HIS part - not yours. All it required was for him to offer an alternative route or ask if you would mind waiting ten mins or however long it would take to bring his sheep in.

Unfortunately there are farmers/shepherds/keepers/landowners out there who simply do not like people walking on "their" land - he sounds like this type to me.

And as far as taking your dog is concerned, as long as she is under control around livestock then there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for not taking her with you. The farmer had no right whatsoever to say you could not take her on that walk with you. I stay on a working hill farm which sits on a working grouse moor - and we often have walkers and their dogs on the various hill tracks around the estate and there are rarely any problems at all.
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby BoyVertiginous » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:28 pm

Graeme D wrote:...he is clearly also an AR*E.

Not according to their website (I did check and they don't appear to be a client of walkhighlands) http://www.turinfarmhouse.com/index.php where "a warm, friendly welcome awaits you".

Also interesting to note the farmer's surname is "JOLLY". :lol:
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Graeme D » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:01 pm

BoyVertiginous wrote:
Graeme D wrote:...he is clearly also an AR*E.

Not according to their website (I did check and they don't appear to be a client of walkhighlands) http://www.turinfarmhouse.com/index.php where "a warm, friendly welcome awaits you".

Also interesting to note the farmer's surname is "JOLLY". :lol:


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Obviously a cousin of the late lamented and altogether more cheery Reverand I.M. JOLLY...... :shock: :lol:
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Bod » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:39 pm

Hi Graeme,
Great report! Has had me in stitches at times and Valerie even more so :lol: :lol: :lol:
Must check out with some of farming friends in Angus area, who stays at Mains of Turin.......inspiring stuff, you be so responsible and what like :wink: :D :D
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:39 pm

I can see this hill from my house and have often thought about having a wander up it but your encounter with the farmer from hell kind of puts me off - I get enough hassle at work (and at home but that's another story!) without this sort of crap when out for a walk!!

Thanks for posting.
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby wilkiemurray » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:45 pm

he (farmer) sounds like a grumpy old sod!!! well done for perservering :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby AlisonFox66 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:59 pm

I ascended this hill yesterday. I haven't bagged a new hill for three months, prefering repeat Munros during the stalking season.I thought this hill would get my appetite back for bagging.........
well I have a few words to say about this hill , but most are not repeatable

Ascent from Fordmouth was made entertaining by electric fences and cattle, and descent to the south , likewise.

However the summit was very nice and with it being the day before Remembrance Sunday I paused at the cairn to pay my respects
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby hills » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:22 pm

Goodness, what a tale. You did awfy well to continue, so well done to you, there is simply no need for such aggression, and thankfully it is very rare these days, but when it does happen, it always seems to be on these sub2s. Have read of problems here in the past, so have given this hill a miss.

So far anyway. 8)
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Graeme D » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:32 pm

AlisonFox66 wrote:I ascended this hill yesterday. I haven't bagged a new hill for three months, prefering repeat Munros during the stalking season.I thought this hill would get my appetite back for bagging.........
well I have a few words to say about this hill , but most are not repeatable

Ascent from Fordmouth was made entertaining by electric fences and cattle, and descent to the south , likewise.

However the summit was very nice and with it being the day before Remembrance Sunday I paused at the cairn to pay my respects


Did you meet the A*SE????
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Re: Bad blood and a shroud of ill-feeling on Turin Hill

Postby Graeme D » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:35 pm

hills wrote:Goodness, what a tale. You did awfy well to continue, so well done to you, there is simply no need for such aggression, and thankfully it is very rare these days, but when it does happen, it always seems to be on these sub2s. Have read of problems here in the past, so have given this hill a miss.

So far anyway. 8)


Yeah, the little Sub2Ks have a tendency to bring the walker into closer contact with (and potential conflict with) farmers than most of the bigger hill routes. And of course the farmers around these hills probably are less accustomed to the hill "traffic".

Don't put it off forever though. It is a fine wee hill in its own right. :D
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