WESTHILL ORBITAL TRAIL

The route description and map for the Orbital Trail are now available at the links here.

Below is an extract from the article on page 7 of the Summer 2021 Westhill Bulletin which describes the work that was done to to link up paths and tracks that we have all been walking for years into one continuous trail. There is also sets of before & after photos in the two downloads.

The three links added are at Carnie Woods, Westhill Golf Club and Lawsondale Woods.

The first of the three new links added was at the western entrances/exits at Carnie Woods where previously the only access was by scrambling over collapsed dykes. Here permission had to be sought from the landowner, Aberdeen City Council. This was achieved at the end of January with work, including an accessible ramp completed by our contractor by the end of March, with the bonus of additional space being cleared in the car park adjacent to the B979.

Work at the Golf Course was in two stages, once agreement was reached with the Golf Club and Stewart Milne Homes as to the best access point, which happened to be through an old wrought iron field gate that separated the two properties. Volunteers spent 56 hours carving a path through the pine trees at the back of the 7th green and 5th tee and then through the bushes and scrub between the mound and the boundary wall to the gate. Work to bridge the drainage ditch between Broadshades and the Golf Club was completed by our contractor at the end of March.

Creating a path through Lawsondale Woods was another order of magnitude altogether. Whilst the potential was identified in the autumn we realized that it couldn’t be done without voluntary support and permission from the landowner, in this case INEOS. Volunteers duly came forward and to date have invested over 250 hours of time to clear a path through the “jungle”; a fantastic community effort. Lately we hired a woodchipper to reduce the volume of waste on the bank and expect that the woods will need ongoing maintenance, particularly to improve the drainage as some stretches can take a few days to dry out after prolonged rainfall