When you have a close look at The Brochs of Coigach from the outside, you will see recycled stuff everywhere.
For door lintels and posts, we used timber from a dilapidated Victorian pier that we recovered from the sea. We even kept the old bolts and preserved
Would you believe
building that pier?
The stones of the walls that are up to 4 metres in height originate from broken-down walls on our land, and from broken-down walls and buildings on other villagers' land. Quite a few of them were pretty helpful with the realization of our project. The opening that you see in the picture below is for birds and bats to fly in and out of a void area at the back of The Brochs.
In the grounds around The Brochs, you will see quite a few scruffy bits. They are an important source of food for many species within the ecosystem. That's what scientists from the University of Hull, University of Bristol and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology tell us.
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The window frames are made from reclaimed pitch pine that used to be floor boards in a 19th century Glasgow warehouse.
Our energy management is based on insulation, insulation, insulation. You will notice that the Brochs are warm and cozy throughout - but you'll be hard pushed to find out where the heat is coming from.
We dry all laundry in the clean Atlantic air - not always the easiest task in the West Highland climate. Somehow, we manage.
We love flowers. These lesser butterfly orchids are one of four kinds of wild orchids that have re-established themselves around The Brochs.
Nevertheless, what we called the "grounds" around The Brochs is not some kind of posh garden but a working Highland croft. In spring you can see lambs being born, and in late autumn a tup doing his tupping. And sometimes our sheep are grazing on the roof.
If you can be bothered to listen to us pontificating about eco stuff and ethical tourism until the cows come home, you can do so in English at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCVH-0WSlrA, and in German at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjoAvLrZifo. It's a presentation of the quaint ideas behind running The Brochs at a conference in the famous Audimax of Berlin's Free University, the birthplace of what was to become the modern green movement.