The ancient pinewoods at Glen Ferrick and the Finlets along the Water of Feugh lie in the Forest of Birse in Deeside. Having once been a royal forest before being conveyed to the Bishops of Aberdeen in the 12th century the area has seen centuries of exploitation. In the 1820s two water powered sawmills were built on the Feugh and there followed considerable felling of the pine trees in Glen Ferrick. Nowadays the woods are being managed for conservation and natural regeneration is abundant with young pine springing up through the heather.
A long distance walking route to the pinewoods from Aboyne follows the Fungle Road, an ancient cattle droving route reputedly also used by whisky smugglers. A pleasant respite from a steep section of the walk is given at a bench marked ‘rest and be thankful’ before leading across the moors and into a dramatic steep sided glen. There is also a quiet public road, which passes both woods leading offering a less strenuous route, from Finzean alongside the Water of Feugh to Birse Castle.
Content by Clifton Bain adapted from The Ancient Pinewoods of Scotland: A Traveller's Guide, Clifton Bain, Sandstone Press, RRP £24.99.
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