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From 1840 to 1848 Strathconon was almost entirely cleared of its ancient inhabitants to make room for sheep and deer, as in other places; and also for the purposes of extensive forest plantations.
It may be remarked that the Strathconon evictions are worthy of note for the forcible illustration they furnish of how, by these arbitrary and unexpected removals, hardships and ruin have frequently been brought on families and communities who were at the time in contented and comfortable circumstances. At one time, and previous to the earlier evictions, perhaps no glen of its size in the Highlands had a larger population than Strathconon. The club farm system, once so common in the North, seems to have been peculiarly successful here. Hence a large proportion of the people were well to do, but when suddenly called upon to give up their hill pasture, and afterwards their arable land, and in the absence of other suitable places to settle in, the means they had very soon disappeared, and the trials and difficulties of new conditions had to be encountered.
A ‘rig’ was a narrow strip of ploughed, cultivated land. ‘Run-rig’ was a system of land tenure where each tenant was allocated several detached rigs or portions of land on a yearly basis, by lot and rotation. This gave everyone a share of the best and worst ground. The name comes from the idea of the rigs running parallel to each other.
Loch Meig is a long, narrow reservoir lying in the River Meig valley in picturesque Strathconon. It was formed by a dam at the east end during the Conon Hydro-Electric Power Scheme development of the 1950’s. It lies at an elevation of 279 ft (85m) above sea level, is approximately 1.9 miles (3 Km) in length and just 360 yards (330m) wide at its widest point, and has a total area of 116 acres (47 hectares).