The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - OUTDOORS -

was on and off with rain, and a lit­tle breezy, so we wrapped up and set off along the path. We had picked the red route, which is a cir­cu­lar track, well sign­posted and easy to fol­low. There are some slightly longer routes, but with the weather, we thought it best to stick to the shorter one.

The dogs im­me­di­ately ran to­wards some black­berry bushes and started nib­bling away. Some­times I’m sure they think the coun­try­side is one giant buf­fet table. We shooed them along.

The path is very well main­tained and the whole route has signs high­light­ing birds or flow­ers to look out for. One even ex­plains the dif­fer­ence be­tween spruce, fir and pine trees, which was new in­for­ma­tion to me. It seemed like a great place to bring a young fam­ily, to hunt for wildlife and cre­ate fairy­tales and sto­ries about the crea­tures in the woodland.

The trees are quite tall but open up ev­ery now and then with a view across the hills, re­mind­ing us that we were in a re­mote area. The path crosses over a cou­ple of burns via small wooden bridges and weaves through clumps of heather and young trees.

Through the for­est, I no­ticed a carved wooden sculp­ture of an ea­gle, and a bit fur­ther along, a dragon­fly swooped through the shrubs and rested on a branch near the burn. Typ­i­cally, it flew off just as I switched my cam­era on.

There is a small loch near the edge of the for­est, and as we passed, we no­ticed a toad sit­ting in the mid­dle of the path. My hus­band dis­tracted the dogs while I took a few pic­tures. Over­look­ing the loch is a pic­nic table that would have made a good spot for some lunch or a flask of tea, if only we had thought to bring some.

As we neared the end of the loop, the heav­ens opened and rain poured down. I no­ticed some bright red toad­stools hid­den amongst the roots of a tree.

Back at the car, we gave the dogs a drink of wa­ter and set off to con­tinue our ad­ven­tures.

I have since found out that the com­mu­nity have cre­ated an in­ter­ac­tive map on their web­site, show­ing the walk­ing routes and pic­tures of each view point.

There was a lot of wildlife in such a short space, a sur­prise around ev­ery cor­ner. It’s no won­der the com­mu­nity takes such pride in this for­est.

For more in­for­ma­tion www.laide­




visit IV22 2NB


25 min­utes



Yes (also some dog waste bags avail­able if you for­get them)

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