Greenpark Leisure - Quality Holiday Accommodation on Royal Deeside, Scotland
Greenpark Leisure Nature Trail
There is a great deal to see at Greenpark, so we have provided a circular walk around the woodlands to help you enjoy the wildlife we have here. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you'll be amazed what you might spot during your visit. ((letters on map)
This information is based on a leaflet designed by Pica Design. Photographs by Niall Benvie and Harry Scott. Illustrations by Mike Langman.
The leaflet was produced with support from Scottish Natural Heritage.
If you are lucky, you might spot an Otter along the river bank. The banks of the burn are also home to the rare and secretive Water Vole. This river is famous for its Salmon, so keep an eye out for young fish along the gravel edge of the burn. Hopping along boulders in the burn you can catch a glimpse of the busy Dipper looking for insects. The woodland along the bank has a variety of tree species - look out for Alder, a broadleaf tree with little cones!
Along this straight section of the route, make sure you look to the sides - you might spot a Bullfinch amongst other more common birds such as Chaffinch. In the summer, you might see Sand Martins gliding through the skies hunting for insects - look out for their nest holes in the sandy banks. Flowers like Black Knapweed along the path edge provide nectar for many different butterflies, such as Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.
The pond provides a home for insects such as the Common Blue damselfly - a spectacular hunter along the edge. In spring, look out for Frog spawn in the shallow water. Lesser Spearwort is one of the natural pond plants which has colonized here - can you spot the distinct leaves? The grasses and thistles around the pond edge sometimes attract flocks of colourful Goldfinch.
Close to the path you can see the striking Rowan trees, laden with red berries in autumn. The Scotís Pine woods close by, are home to the unique Scottish Crossbill - a rare treat to see. Red Squirrel, extinct in most of Britain, live in these woods and can be spotted on quiet days, as can Roe Deer. Look out for the majestic sight of soaring Buzzards and their distinct 'meowing' calls.
Open farmland is important for many animals - in spring and summer look out for the brightly coloured Yellowhammer, sitting on a perch with its distinct call of 'little-bit-of-bread-and-NO-cheese'. Field Pansies flower in disturbed margins where Grey Partridge can sometimes be seen in little family groups. The grassy margins of the fields hide a range of mammals, from the Rabbit to mice and voles and occasionally we are treated to a sighting of a Barn Owl hunting for a small morsel.
You can contact Grampian FWAG (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group) for more information on farmland wildlife.
How to get there
Map from Microsoft Bing - click for more details
From the High Street in Banchory, go west on the main A93 road towards Aboyne. You will pass the West Church on your right and in about a quarter of a mile, pass the Tor-na-Coille Hotel on your right. Continue for about another quarter of a mile and turn right at the junction signposted Glassel, Torphins and Lumphanan
Follow this road up past the Inchmarlo Golf Club on your left and continue on this road for about two miles. Go straight on at the junction just after the sign for West Brathens Farmhouse (do NOT turn left over a narrow bridge). Greenpark Leisure is 200 yards along this road on your left.