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.laidewood.org.uk
visit IV22 2NB
Yes (also some dog waste bags available if you forget them)