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Coulport

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Coulport is a village on the eastern shore of Loch Long, at the end of the B833 road, and lies across from Ardentinny on the western shore.

Since the 1960s, the village has gradually been lost to expansion of the Royal Naval Armament Depot (RNAD) Coulport RNAD Coulport which stores nuclear weapons removed from nuclear submarines while they are being serviced at HMNB Clyde. An unclassified road also leads to the site from Garelochhead and this high quality, relatively straight and level road was constructed to facilitate overland transport of nuclear weapons to the depot. Sentry posts are located at each end of the road to control access when it is in use for its intended purpose, but are generally unmanned and public access is usually unrestricted, although stopping on the road is probably not advisable, and likely to attract the attention of MoD (Ministry of Defence) Police (MDP).

The village of Coulport effectively ceased to exist in 2005, when a news report noted that the last remaining building from the original village had finally been demolished.

Kibble Palace

Kibble Palace, 1960
Kibble Palace 1960
© Gerald England

In the 1860s, John Kibble, one of several wealthy Glasgow merchants of the time who built their villas on the shores of the loch, designed and built an iron framed glasshouse for his Coulport home on the shores of Loch Long. Dismantled and brought along the River Clyde to Glasgow in 1873, it was re-assembled and enlarged to become the Kibble Palace, part of Glasgow's Botanic Gardens.

Dismantled again in 2004, structural corrosion was repaired, and glasshouse was fully restored in 2006, at a cost of some £7 million.

Kibble Palace, 2008
Kibble Palace 2008
© Patrick Mackie


Pine Marten

Revealing that the nearby depot facilities were guarded by some 400 MoD Police officers, Glasgow's Evening Times (April 2006) reported that the rare and endangered pine marten had been spotted scampering along the roadside by staff from RNAD Coulport. Such stories are not unusual, as MoD land is frequently home to otherwise endangered flora and fauna thanks to the access restrictions placed upon it.

Prior to this sighting, the only known colony was at Inversnaid, on the eastern side of Loch Lomond.

In 2013, a joint survey by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Vincent Wildlife Trust (VWT) found that the pine marten population has regained ground across much of Scotland and was even re-colonising areas where local pine marten populations had been wiped out more than a century ago.[1][2]

References

1 Pine martens showing signs of population recovery - Environment - Scotsman.com Retrieved April 17, 2013.

2 Pine marten numbers recovering according to survey Retrieved April 17, 2013.

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