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History of Maryculter Woods

The oldest things in the wood are the rocks. The most easily recognisable rock in the wood is white granite which represents the now solid core of volcanoes which were active 470 million years ago. The volcanoes would once have been as high as the Andes are today, though erosion over millions of years has slowly worn the mountains down to their present size.

The area was fully buried under ice during the Ice Age (10,000years ago) and you can still see plenty of evidence of this in the wood. There are rock outcrops worn smooth by ice, large boulders dropped by glaciers as the ice retreated and glacial boulder clay in the valley of the Crynoch Burn.

On Oldman Hill there are clearance cairns, field systems and even a possible round house that are all thought to date back as far as the Bronze Age. More recently, maps from the 19 th Century show that part of the area was cleared to create new fields and the large drainage ditches were dug. The oldest trees in the wood (Scot's Pine) probably date from this time.

In the 1940s the land was acquired by Forestry Commission Scotland and planted with various types of spruce, larch and lodgepole pine. Over the last 20 years FCS have had a policy of clear-felling the mature trees and allowing natural regeneration, supplemented by limited planting of native broad-leaf trees (particularly abundant on the steep slope down to the Crynoch Burn).

In 2007, the local community set up the Maryculter Woodlands Trust to help manage the wood, in partnership with FCS. The first task of the trust was to prevent the vigorous natural regeneration from blocking all the smaller tracks and paths in the wood. The Trust has since grown to take on additional replanting (with FCS), create new paths and desire lines and thin out some of the smaller regenerated spruce.

Natural History

Plant Survey

This list of wild flowers, trees and shrubs was been compiled by local volunteers, David Plant and Hazel Witte with the assistance of David Welch and David Elston (former and current Vice-County Recorders for the British Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, BSBI), as well as student James Cousland

Column 1- latin name, Column 2 - common name

Acer pseudoplatanussycamore
Achillea millefoliumyarrow
Aegopodium podagrarariaground elder
Agrostis caninavelvet bent
Agrostis capillariscommon bent
Agrostis stoloniferacreeping bent
Agrostis vinealisbrown besn
Ajuga reptansbugle
Alchemilla vulgarislady's mantle
Alchemilla glabrahairless lady's mantle
Alnus glutinosaalder
Alopecurus myosuroidesblack grass
Anemone nemorosawood anemone
Angelica sylvestrislovage
Anthoxanthum odoratumsweet vernal grass
Anthriscus sylvestriscow parsley
Arrhenatherum elatiusfalse oat-grass
Athyrium filix-feminalady fern
Avenula pratensismeadow oat-grass
Bellis perennisdaisy
Betula nanadwarf birch
Betula nana pubescensdowny birch
Betula pendulasilver birch
Blechnum spicante (fern)hard fern
Buddleia davidiibuddleia
Callitriche stagnaliscommon water starwort
Calluna vulgarisheather
Capsella bursa-pastorisshepherd's purse
Cardamine flexuosawavy bittercress
Cardamine hirsutahairy bittercress
Cardamine pratensiscuckoo flower
Carex binervisgreen-ribbed sedge
Carex capillarishair sedge
Carex curtawhite sedge
Carex laevigatasmooth-stalked sedge
Carex lepor
Carex oed
Carex piluliferapill sedge
Carex rostratabottle sedge
Centaurea nigrahardhead
Cerastium arvensefield mouse-ear
Cerastium fontanumcommon mouse-ear
Ceratocaponos claviculataclimbing corydalis
Ceratochloa cla
Chamerion angustifoliumrosebay willowherb
Chrysosplenium oppositofoliumgolden saxifrage
Circium arvensiscreeping thistle
Cirsium palustremarsh thistle
Cirsium vulgarespear thistle
Conopodium majuspignut
Corylus avelannahazel
Crepis mollisnorthern hawksbeard
Crepis paludosamarsh hawksbeard
Crocosmia x crocosmiafloramontbretia
Cynosurus cristatuscrested dogstail
Cystisus scopariusbroom
Dactylorhiza? glomeratanorhern marsh orchid
Dactylorhiza maculaheath spotted orchid
Deschampsia cespitosatufted hair-grass
Deschampsia flexuosawavy hair-grass
Dicranum scopariumFork moss
Digitalis purpureafoxglove
Dryopteris affinisgolden-scaled male fern
Dryopteris carthusiananarrow buckler fern
Dryopteris filix-masmale fern
Epilobium montanumbroad-leaved willowherb
Epilobium obscurumshort-fruited willowherb
Epilobium palustremarsh willowherb
Epilobium parviflorumhoary willowherb
Equisetum arvensefield horsetail
Equisetum sylvaticumhorsetail
Erica cinereabell heather
Erica tetralixcross-leaved heath
Eriophorum vaginatumharestail cotton-grass
Eurhyncium praelongum Feather moss
Festuca rubrared fescue
Fagus sylvaticabeech
Ficaria ver
Filipendula ulmariameadowsweet
Galanthus nivalissnowdrop
Galeopsis tetrahitcommon hemp-nettle
Galium aparinecleavers
Galium palustremarsh bedstraw
Galium saxatileheath bedstraw
Galium verumlady's bedstraw
Geranium robertianumherb robert
Geum rivalewater avens
Geum urbanumherb bennet
Glyceria declinatasmall sweet-grass
Gnapaphalium uliginosummarsh cudweed
Heracleum sphondylumhogweed
Holcus lanatusYorkshire fog
Holcus mollisCreeping soft-grass
Hyacinthoides hispanicaSpanish bluebell
Hyacithoides non-scriptaScottish bluebell
Hypericum pulchrumslender St John's wort
Hypochaeris radicatacatsear
Ilex aquifoliumholly
Iris pseudacorusflag iris
Isothecium myosuroidesmouse-tail
Juncus acutiflorussharp-flowered rush
Juncus bufonius agg.toad rush
Juncus conglomeratuscompact rush
Juncus effusussoft rush
Juncus squarrosusheath rush
Juniperus communisjuniper
Lamiastrum galeobdolumyellow archangel
Lamium albumwhite dead nettle
Lamium purpureumred dead nettle
Lapsana communisnipplewort
Lathyrus linifoliusbitter vetchling
Lathyrus pratensisyellow meadow vetchling
Lilium pyrenaicumpyrenean lily
Lolium multiflorumItalian rye grass
Lonerica periclymenumHoneysuckle
Lotus corniculatusbirdsfoot trefoil
Lotus pedunculatusgreater birdsfoot trefoil
Luzula campestrisfield woodrush
Luzula multiflora many-headedwoodrush
Luzula pilosahairy wood-rush
Luzula sylvaticagreat wood-rush
Lychnis flos-cuculiragged robin
Lysimachia punctata spotted loostrife
Meconopsis cambricaWelsh poppy
Mercurialis perennisdog's mercury
Meum anthamaticumspignel
Mimulus guttatusmonkeyflower
Molinia caerulea
Montia fontanablinks
Myosotis arvensisfield forgetmenot
Myosotis discolorchanging forgetmenot
Myosotis ramosissimaearly forgetmenot
Myosotis scorpiodeswater forgetmenot
Myosotis secundacreeping forgetmenot
Myrrhis odoratasweet cicely
Nardus strictamat grass
Nasta *off
Orchis masculaearly purple orchid
Oreopteris limbospermalemon-scented fern
Oxalis acetosellawood sorrel
Pedicularis palustrismarsh lousewort
Pedicularis sylvaticalousewort
Persicaria maculosaredleg (bistort)
Petasites hybridusbutterbur
Phalaris arundinaceareed canary grass
Pilosella auranticafox and cubs
Pinus sylvestrisScots pine
Plagiothecium undulatumwavy flat-moss
Plantago lanceolataribbed plantain
Plantago mediahoary plantain
Pleurozium schreberired stem moss
Poa annuaannual meadow-grass
Poa humilisspreadig meadow-grass
Poa trivialisrough meadw-grass
Polygola serpyllifoliaheath milkwort
Polygala vulgariscommon milkwort
Polygonum aviculareknotgrass
Polygonatum x hybridumSolomon's-seal
Polypodium vulgare (fern)common polypody
Polystichum aculeatumhard shield fern
Polytrichum formosunWood hair moss
Potamogetom polygonifoliusbog pondweed
Potentilla erectatormentil
Potentilla reptanstormentil
Primula veris cowslip
Primula vulgarisprimrose
Prunella vulgarisself heal
Prunus aviumbird cherry
Pteridium aquilinum bracken
Quercus petreaSessile oak
Quercus roburpedunculate oak
Ranunculus acrismeadow buttercup
Ranunculus flammulalesser spearwort
Ranunculus repens creeping buttercup
Rhinanthus minoryellow rattle
Ribes sanguineumflowering currant
Rosa caninadog rose
Rosa mollisnorthern downy rose
Rubus fruticosusbramble
Rubus idaeusraspberry
Rumex acetosacommon sorrel
Rumex acetosellasheep's sorrel
Rumex obtusifoliusbroad-leaved dock
Salix capreagoat willow
Salix cinereagrey willow
Sambucus nigraelder
Sceleropodium purumneat moss
Scrophularia nodosacommon figwort
Scutellaria minorlesser skullcap
Senecio jacobaeacommon ragwort
Senecio vulgarisgroundsel
Silene dioicared campion
Solidago virgaureagoldenrod
Sonchus oleraceussmooth sow thistle
Sorbus aucupariarowan
Spaghnum capillifolium
Spaghnum palustre
Spaghnum quinquefarium
Sparganium erectumbranched bur-reed
Stachys palustrismarsh woundwort
Stachys sylvaticahedge woundwort
Stellaria graminealesser stitchwort
Stellaria holosteagreater stitchwort
Stellaria mediacommon chickweed
Succisa pratensedevilsbit scabious
Symphytum officinalecommon comfrey
Taraxacum officinaledandelion
Thuidium tamariscinumtamarisk moss
Thymus serpyllumwild thyme
Tilia x europeacommon lime
Trientalis europeachickweed wintergreen
Trifolium repenswhite clover
Tripleurospermum indorumscentless mayweed
Tussilago farfaricoltsfoot
Ulex europeumgorse
Urtica dioicastinging nettle
Vaccinium myrtillusblaeberry
Valeriana officinalisvalerian
Veronica beccabungabrooklime
Veronica chamaedrysgermander speedwell
Veronica officinalisheath speedwell
Vicia craccatufted vetch
Vicia sepiumbush vetch
Viola rivinianadog violet