Some people regard March 1 as the first day of Spring.
I’m not sure that I agree with that sentiment, but it was hard to disbelieve it this year.
Tuesday was a beautiful day, and 31 of us made the most of it as we gathered at the Kirkton Garden Centre in Stonehaven. Twenty of us did the longer walk with the remainder opting for a shorter excursion.
From the car-park, we walked past the vets’ and followed a private road which took us along past Fetteresso Castle. On the way there, we saw a most unusual doocot in a field on our left. It is referred to as a beehive doocot and is reported to date back to the 15th century. The castle itself was restored in the latter part of the 20th century, to form several homes.
Soon we joined the Stonehaven – Auchenblae road and turned left, passing a field where dung was being spread – good country smell, I was told! Then on the left, we saw a cottage alone in a field; one of our members was born there. At Tewel Farm, we turned left and walked down to a ford over the Carron Water. Fortunately the water was low and we didn’t get wet feet. The road then twists back on itself and runs close to the railway line before crossing it.
Near the entrance to Auquhirie, we stopped for an early lunch. It was a good spot as there was a lovely little dyke for us to perch on. The road here – as most of the way – was very narrow, but there was little traffic. We crossed straight over one junction, then turned left at the next, passing Bardspark, and what a surprise we had there! Several wooden sculptures were on show, close to the roadside, and further on, there was a wooden deer. Somebody there has a great talent: these were not the result of someone’s idle whittling!
After passing Toucks Farm, we turned left and gradually made our way back via Kirktown of Fetteresso, a quaint little hamlet with the Carron Water running through it. Afterwards, most of us had a “fly cup” in the Garden Centre before returning home. I seem to have been particularly unobservant on this walk, as photographers Stewart and Allan snapped things I had missed! These included a “Rapid Removals” van which had seen better days, and an eco-friendly house. How could I have missed those? Our next walk will be on Tuesday, March 15 around St Cyrus, starting at the Playing Field car-park, leaving the Burgh Buildings at 10am.