Sheltered Heath
heath.jpg
The heath meets the moorland.

Low-growing, woody vegetation dominated by heather in shades of rich purples and dusty pinks defines Dornie’s sheltered heath, which is a sea of dwarf shrubs and low grasses. It ends at the maritime cliffs: a steep drop-off into the Atlantic with an incomparable view of the western horizon. A combination of squat stone walls and fence posts with rusted coils of barbed wire stretched between them make up the heath’s boundaries, and in some places veer off into thickets of oaks and alders with dense, crusty bark covered in lichen and hoary green moss.

The land is not flat; rather, it is a gentle, downward slope with rocky plateaus that provide shelter from the elements for the horse herd that grazes here, as well as native roe and red deer and the sparsely-populated colonies of rabbits that make their warrens in the earth. From the heath’s highest point, a stone ledge overlooking Dornie, its lochs, and the white-capped ocean beyond, the only structure visible within its borders are the stables owned by the man to whom it all belongs.

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