About this wood
Aspect, Altitude and Aspect
Den Wood is situated two miles north of Oldmeldrum in Aberdeenshire. The woodland is on a gentle north facing slope down to Tulloch Burn on the northern boundary, with a long narrow ridge rising on a north-south axis, providing for good views over the surrounding agricultural landscape at its southernmost point.
The site forms part of an undulating agricultural landscape of low rolling hills and ridges with occasional rocky outcrops. The underlying bedrock is of Dalradian metamorphic rock giving rise to stony forest brown earths on the well drained areas of the site and peaty gleys in areas of impeded drainage.
The MLURI describes the area as being fairly warm moist lowland, moderately exposed with moderate winters. There is a small permanent stream known as Tulloch Burn on the northern boundary and a smaller tributary of this stream forms a small gully which bisects the site.
Den wood comprises of 18.5 ha of mixed, mostly native woodland of varying ages and density containing a variety of woodland types and habitats. These include a beech shelterbelt, extensive areas of even-aged birch with small groups of other mixed broadleaves on moderate slopes and areas of even-aged alder on flat wet ground. The beech shelterbelt has been heavily browsed by deer and rabbit in the past and there is no significant natural regeneration of trees. However, the shelterbelt has been recently under planted with mixed broadleaves.
Other Habitats Description
There are small areas of dense gorse heath and dry heath clearings containing occasional rowan and birch regeneration and scattered individual mature rowan and birch throughout. There is one small and one larger open marshy grassland areas supporting dense growth of Juncus effusus and Holcus mollis and associated vegetation. The larger marshland is surrounded by acid grassland supporting Calluna vulgaris and Vaccinium myrtillus and associated vegetation. The small streams provide for an area of riparian woodland alder / willow habitat (this supports the North East Scotland Local Biodiversity Action Plan operational objective 3 - To maintain and protect wet woodland, rivers and burns). Buzzard and roe deer are commonly seen in the woodland and evidence of the presence of badger is extensive.
Den Wood was purchased in 1993 with grant from Scottish Natural Heritage, Gordon District Council and Grampian Regional Council. The wood is classified as being ancient woodland of long established plantation origin but nothing is known of the planting history. Much of the present character of the woodland is the result of regeneration following almost total destruction and presumed clearance of the woodland during the great gales of 1953. It is thought that pigs have had access to the woodland in the past.
Until recently, no clearly defined footpaths existed and consequently the woodland has no history of heavy public use.
The wood is one of few accessible woods near to Oldmeldrum. Den Wood is situated 2.5 miles north of Oldmeldrum. There is a small informal parking area on a wide verge near the access gate and a network of nearly 3km of footpaths which gives good access to all parts of the woodland. The paths are part of the proposed core path network (No 309.06). Upgrading of the footpath network, the provision of an informal car park, way marking and a leaflet produced by Aberdeenshire Council has led to increased popularity of the woodland, particularly at weekends.