01690 720214

Lazy Beds

John Cousins (May)

We saw these lazy beds while on a recce for next year's Scottish Canoe expedition in Loch Nevis. They consist of parallel alternating strips of raised ground and hollows and are a vivid reminder of the numbers of people that survived in these now silent Glens.

Lazy-beds were designed so that water would drain out of the raised mounds down the channels either side. The raised strips would then be fertilised with cattle manure (and desalinated seaweed in places like Loch Nevis) and used to grow potatoes and cereals. Lazybeds are known as feannagan in Scottish Gaelic and were used in southern parts of Britain from the post-Roman period until the post-medieval period, and across much of Ireland and Scotland until the 19th century.

Potatoes were often grown in this way in these regions, until the potato blight caused the potato famine in the Highlands and Ireland. As in Ireland, the potato crop failed in the mid 19th century, and a widespread outbreak of cholera further weakened the Highland population. The ongoing clearance policy resulted in starvation, deaths, and a secondary clearance, when families either migrated voluntarily or were forcibly evicted.

It continues to be a very tough place to make a living and Cameron MacIntoshâÂ.Â.s gamekeeper told us that he got 60p a pound for deer carcasses that would ultimately sell for Ã.£8 a pound!
For those of us who are merely visitors Loch Nevis is simply one of the finest Lochs on the West Coast of Scotland.

Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Find out what's going on at the National Mountain Sports Centre between any date range on this handy new search page

Adventure Sports
Coaching Conference

Adventure Sports Coaching ConferenceOur inaugural Adventure Sports Coaching Conference will seek to explore the role of coach developers in adventure sports performance.


Christmas and New YearOn behalf of all the team at Plas y Brenin, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a H....


Scottish Winter Courses 2018Starting January 2018, our Scottish Winter courses are timed to make the most of the incredible wint....


Winter WarmersAs the nights begin to draw in and the temperature starts to drop, Plas y Brenin are pleased to offe....


Peak Performance For Plas y Brenin Paddling TeamWe are delighted to announce that we've launched an exciting new partnership with kayak clothing man....


BMC Women Outdoors Week 5-15 Aug 2017Come and get active for the BMC's Women Outdoors Week here at Plas y Brenin. We have talks, activiti....

What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here

Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.

Enhanced Learning Credits

Enhanced Learning CreditsThe Enhanced Learning Credit Administration Service offers funding for armed forces personnel. Plas y Brenin is able to accept ELCAS funding for a few specific non residential courses.

Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.

Adventure Map

Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.