On one of the nicest days so far this year, the Mearns 50+ Group set off for a walk in Fetteresso forest.
To get to the starting point, we drove from Stonehaven out the Auchenblae road; after about half a mile to a mile we took the road to the right signposted Banchory and Rickarton; we turned right again at the next junction and passed Blairs Farm; when the road divided, we kept left; some distance on, we found parking on the left. 2 pieces of white polythene on trees mark where you turn in.
From the car-park, we walked into the forest; where we came to a gate and a fork in the road, we went round the gate and straight ahead.
We passed an area where the trees had been cut down, but 3 trunks remained standing tall. It looked rather untidy, but I was informed that they are left for the woodpeckers.
That changed my opinion of them! Further on we passed Hurlie Bog on the left and continued to an area of open ground, called Burn of Day, where we had our lunch.
After lunch, we left the main tracks and walked “across country” to the area known as Jenny’s Bog. Until fairly recently, there was a ruined cottage here, but it has now been demolished and there is really no evidence of it ever having been there, other than in Dave Shaw’s old photo.
One of the walkers, Elizabeth Thomson, was born at Jenny’s Bog and was able to tell us a little bit about it. She and her sister planted daffodils under a tree nearby and they were in full bloom when we were there. What I found quite interesting was a little puddle that marked a spring coming from the ground. This had been their only water source.
From Jenny’s bog, we continued on a lesser-trodden route and eventually left the forest right opposite the entrance to Bossholes Farm.
We followed the road a little way until another entrance into the forest where once again we followed the main forest tracks until we arrived back at where we had started.
For the main part, the tracks on this walk were wide and dry and it was pleasant walking. Distance covered was about 7 miles.
The next walk took place this week on Tuesday, starting at the Grassick Gibbon Centre, walking to Banff Hill and returning via Arbuthnott House Gardens.