Activity at Maryculter Woods

Path and Track Maintenance

The MWT was formed in April 2007 by residents in the Kirkton of Maryculter in co-operation with Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). Our aim is to maintain the woods as a local ammenity without changing its informal character. Our primary maintenance task has been to keep the paths open! We have also assisted FCS with tree planting to increase the abundance of native broad-leaved trees & native ground-cover in the wood. The woods may be informal, but the relationship that the MWT has with FCS has clear structure. The MWT has its own liability insurance and all the work that we do requires approval by FCS prior to the work starting and then FCS inspection when the work is finished. We have built up an extremely positive partnership with FCS who give us their time, their expertise, the loan of tools and all we need to replant areas with native trees.

While the MWT progress through the community purchase scheme the FCS have limited the work that can be can be done on the wood to basic path maintenance in certain parts of the wood

‘Desire Line’ to Summit of Oldman Hill

The clear-felling of mature spruce next to the Kirkton, in 2011, exposed the summit of Oldman Hill. Clearly we just had to create a desire line to take in the 360o views from the summit. We settled for a looped desire line off the main track. Our volunteers this time were the hard-working and ever-reliable 1st Maryculter cubscouts, assisted by their scout leaders, notably Bill. Luckily, all (!) we needed to do was move brash out of the way, though it was pretty deep in places. It is worth checking out the view from the summit.

The troops at the summit of Oldman Hill after all the hard work.

Spruce thinning

In the summer we got approval from FCS to remove small spruce in the area near the glacier-worn rock. The objective of the job was to free-up the self-sown birch & rowan growing in that area and enable the natural regeneration of ground cover (see photo taken after the work was completed). Many thanks to Bill & family, Ian, Trevor & Owen for all the hard work.

Tree-planting - 2011

Another sunny day, this time planting with the 1st Maryculter Cubscouts. We had 15 cubscouts and their leaders. We planted 90 trees in the same area as the previous year, though this time we had hazel, willow, oak and a few hawthorn. FCS again supplied all the trees, stakes, collars & tools. The cubscouts did a great job and really stuck to their task. I suspect that we might need to phone them again – there are more clear-felled areas that could be replanted.

New Path

This new path connects the 2 main forestry tracks in the wood & winds its way past the oldest trees in the wood – Scots Pine

The Scots Pine are older than they appear and were old even before FCS planted the area in 1940. The soil is so poor and waterlogged that nothing grows very fast in this part of the wood. The spruce in this area are from the original planting – it has never been thinned or harvested – which makes these dwarf spruce over 70 years old (we have counted the rings!) and therefore the Scots Pine even older. Thanks again to all the hardy volunteers who got the job done.

Tree-planting - 2010

We had 14 volunteers of all ages and, with the help of Julia White from FCS, we were able to plant 160 trees (alder, rowan, willow & gean). We replanted the area which formally had beech trees growing on it. It was a perfect day, beautiful weather for the planting and then much needed rain in the evening.