Hiking through the Sidlaw Hills, near Dundee, recently I happened upon an old howff lying just off one of the paths. Tucked away amid a scattered woodland of larch and Scots pine, the wee stone shelter sits above an informal wild camping area.
Original well constructed from flat igneous rocks and stones common to the area, the howff remains reasonably solid and offers some protection from the elements. It is clean and tidy, and free of rubbish. However, the roof, patched up with polythene, is not particularly watertight and looks really rather messy.
After first discovering the howff and then revisiting on a number of occasions, I cannot help but feel some renovation work is required. It would not take much work to return this charming little shelter to a wind and watertight state, while at the same time sorting out the unsightly tangle of plastic atop the stonework.
To this end, I am drawing up plans to stabilise and reconstruct sections of wall that require attention before re-roofing the structure. There is no timescale on the works, but hopefully they will be undertaken over the Summer of 2019.
To fund the project, I have decided to donate 10% from the cover price of several of my outdoor books to pay for materials. Time will, obviously, be given freely!
I would love to hear from anyone who might like to join me in this endeavour, or who may know of the howff and have information on its history. Drop me an email at email@example.com or comment below.
In the meantime, 10% from the cover price of the following books (ebook and paperback versions), available from Amazon, will, from June 1, 2019, go into a fund to pay for the renovation and will continue to do so until the project is complete: