By The Morton Lochs


I almost went to Dundee today. Almost, but not quite, as I stopped short at the south side of the Tay Road Bridge to take a walk round by Tayport and the Morton Lochs. The Morton Lochs were formed around 1906 as fishing ponds by the local landowners and today they now fall within the Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve, making them a haven for wildlife. Greylag geese, teal and – if you’re lucky to be there at the right time – otters can often be spotted. For me today, the star of the show was a wee red squirrel stuffing itself silly at a tree feeder.

Following quiet country roads and tracks through forest and open moorland as well as passing through the busy harbour town of Tayport; the eight-mile circular was full of interesting glimpses of the past. The old kirk of St Fillans with its roots going back to before 1188 could no doubt tell a few good stories. None perhaps more comical, though, than that of Tayport’s church and the Rev Robert Dalgleish the day he thought he should have had a bigger congregation than had turned up to his service. Setting them singing, he left the church and went round the streets in search of his flock! The congregation were still singing when he returned, although maybe not in such fine voice as when he’d left. Robert had left them to sing Psalm 119 – all 176 verses of it!

Willie Shand

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