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Limekiln Woods, Findhorn River & Loch of Blairs (Circuit)

Tue, 21 September 2021 @ 10:00 - 13:00

This is a varied and motivating walk with a variety of trees and plant life using informal woodland paths high above the River Findhorn and gorge with dramatic views of the rushing water below. The loch is a haven for birdlife and a popular walking venue for people. The Friends of Blairs Loch (FBL) a group of industrious volunteers who are working hard to restore the loch back to its former glory and to the community as an amenity for recreation and educational purposes will be at hand on the day.

Join enthusiastic walker Elaine Crowe for a varied and motivating walk of two halves, the first half takes us through Limekiln Woods and a section of the Findhorn River. There is a variety of wildlife to be seen and many varieties of trees and plant life to observe (the colours reflecting the time and season of the year). The informal and dramatic woodland paths high above the swirling waters of the River Findhorn and its gorge provide dramatic glimpses of the river below. The steep cliff edge is unprotected, but there are excellent views of the rushing waters below. The water is often dark brown, coloured by the peat of the Monadhliath Mountains where it rises and flows from.

We then continue onto Loch of Blairs which again has many varieties of trees and plant life. The Loch is approximately 11 hectares in area and sits in the north-western area of Altyre Estate, lying close to the town of Forres in Moray. Once used as a trout fishery by anglers in the area the availability of boat hire ceased around 15 years ago. The costs of ongoing maintenance became too high for The Moray Council and they ended their involvement with the loch in the early 2000’s. As a result, the boathouse, bothy, stables and cart building fell into disrepair and the loch sat quietly in its surroundings becoming sadly neglected and overgrown with Rhododendrons, Phragmites Reeds and dense aquatic weeds. However, The Friends of Blairs Loch (FBL) are a group of industrious volunteers who are working hard to restore the loch back to its former glory and to the community as an amenity for recreation and educational purposes. Although the work is ongoing the volunteers are working towards reopening the water at Loch of Blairs for trout fishing. Both the bothy and boathouse have been refurbished and a wonderful new outdoor learning venue has replaced the old stable and cart block. In addition, the Rhododendrons and other tenacious plant life have been cleared to extend the footpath network around the loch and open up the panoramic views to the loch. The loch has been made even more appealing with the addition of three bird hides built by volunteers on the water’s edge, connecting bridges, benches and picnic tables. It remains a haven for birdlife and a popular walking venue for “those in the know”.

Thank you to Elaine, who is donating the profits of this event to the Moray Way Association

Event Details

Date:
Tue, 21 September 2021
Time:
10:00 - 13:00
Cost:
£10.00 – £12.00
Distance:
6 miles / 9.6 km
Grade:
Moderate (info)
Leader:
Elaine Crowe and Jenny Jordan
Dogs:
Sorry, dogs are not allowed
Category:
, , , ,

The price of the ticket includes a coffee break and slice of cake at the bothy or outdoor learning venue at Loch of Blairs. Please note that whilst the site recently had toilet’s installed teething problems have yet to be resolved and therefore might not be available on the day.

Terrain – apart from one steep section which soon flattens out above the gorge and a short section along the edge of a field, the rest of the terrain is easy-going on informal woodland paths. However, care should be taken when walking on the informal paths above the gorge, the edge of the field and when walking around the loch as exposed roots left over from clearing the Rhododendrons can be a trip hazard. In addition, there are two stiles to negotiate and care is also needed when crossing the road that links the Findhorn River section of the walk with Loch of Blairs. Please note that sections of the walk can become muddy after rain. The walk including the stop is approximately 3 hours.

The environment that we are walking in has the potential for changing weather so please bring along appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear.

Bring along Binoculars for viewing the wildlife.

Organiser

Organiser:
Elaine Crowe
Phone:
07519 785290
Email:
j.crowe59@btinternet.com

Venue / Start

Meet at GR 019559
Forres, United Kingdom

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Meet at GR 019559

This walk will start and finish at the same point. If approaching from Forres on the A940 Road to Grantown you can either turn left at the lights opposite Forres Health Centre onto Mannachie Road continue along this road for approximately a mile then just before Dallas Dhu Distillery turn right onto an unnamed road at the cottage with whitewashed walls, follow this road to the end and immediately before the road junction is reached you will find a small parking area on your right-hand side. Or you can stay on the A940 Grantown Road leading out of Forres and just short of a mile turn left onto an unnamed road at the Brown Tourist sign for Dallas Dhu Distillery and immediately after turning you will find a small parking area on your left-hand side.

Please arrive at the start point at 9.40 am so any potential parking issues can be sorted out before the event begins at 10.00 am.

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