Mearns 50 + Group explore Durris area


O nwards and upwards might be a good way to describe our last walk, and despite the haziness, th e view at the top was certainly worth it!

To get to our starting point, we drove out of Stonehaven on the Slug Road (A957) until we came to the junction where the roadside cafe used to be, and there we turned right. Less than quarter o f a mile down there and on the right, is a small parking area and a Forestry Commission sign, Durris.

Mearns walkers back at the bus.

Mearns walkers back at the bus.

Having managed to squeeze in all the vehicles, we set off along the forest track, and were soon passed by a large transporter lorry. Although we were walking uphill, it wasn‘t too steep, and no-one really struggled with it.

Because we were in a forest, there wasn’t muich to see at first but, as we climbed, we had glimpses between the trees. The route to the top is a very easy one to describe: at two points along the way, where the track divides, bear or turn left and keep going until you reach the masts at the top of Cairn-mon-earn. The masts are of various sizes and types but do not include the very tall television mast which can be seen for miles around.

From the masts, we continued forward, in the direction of the TV mast, for about 200 yards until we reached a wooden seat. There, the views all round can really only be described as fantastic.

Although it was quite dull and not really suitable for photographs, we could see the Garvock turbines, Benachie and high-rise flats in Aberdeen.

Durris masts map.

Durris masts map.

Then it was0 back to the relative shelter of the masts for lunch. before heading back down the hill. By the time we reached the bottom, the sun had come out and there was blue sky. We were just a bit too early at the top.

Little was seen in the way of wildlife other than two little birds at the top which were not sufficiently close to identify and, further down, two woodpeckers in the distance.

At various points along the way we saw bags dumped at the side of the track. They were labelled ‘forest Trees, handle gently.’

Photographers for the day were Stewart Craig and Walter Blakeman, distance covered was between four and five miles, depending on who you talk to!

The next walk will be on Tuesday, April 1, a new route around Kirriemuir.

Parking will be in the Bellies Brae car park. As usual, the minibus will leave the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk at 10am.