18.83 ha (46.53 acres)

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Explorer 421
OS Landranger 30

Den Wood, the only Woodland Trust wood in the North East of Scotland, may be small but is packed with interest.  Across less than 20 hectares, it boasts 23 tree species to admire, an intricate mixture of knolls and hollows to explore, and a spectacular viewpoint over the Aberdeenshire farmland to the distinctive skyline of Bennachie.


  • Parking at site
  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
  • Autumn colour
  • Waymarked walk
  • Marshland
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Den Wood

Made up of just over 18 hectares, Den Wood is situated approximately 4km north of Oldmeldrum in Aberdeenshire.

At the roundabout on the A947 and B9170 north of Oldmeldrum, take the A947 heading north to Banff. After 1km, take the first right at the Mosshead crossroad, signposted Balgove. Follow this minor narrow road for 2km, and the small car park is on the left just after North Chapelhouses Farm.

The nearest train station is at Inverurie, 7.5km from Oldmeldrum on the main Aberdeen to Inverness line.

The nearest bus stop is Oldmeldrum, approximately 4km from the wood. Oldmeldrum has regular bus service connections with Inverurie,Turrif, Fyvie and Aberdeen.

Please note if walking to the wood from Oldmeldrum, be aware that the first 2km are on a reasonably busy A road which has no footway for the majority of the way. The remaining 2km are on a quiet minor road, which again has no footway.

Facilities and access

The main entrance is from the car park on the east side of the wood on the unclassified road from the A947 to Balgove. There are 3km of paths throughout the wood. There is a series of three looped walks through Den Wood, each of varying length and linking into each other. The longest loop is Hawkhillock view (yellow waymarked trail) which is about 3km long and leads to a viewpoint with a picnic area and a large children’s play structure.

Paths throughout the wood are uneven in places and can be muddy in wet weather. Gradients are gentle to moderate with a few steps on some steeper sections. There are also some short boardwalks.

There is a small informal car park, large enough for approximately eight cars, located adjacent to the wood near the east end.

The nearest public toilets are on Urquhart Road in Oldmeldrum. Disabled access facilities are available - a RADAR key is required.

Wildlife and habitats


This narrow wood is used by many of the local animal species to shelter on their way through the landscape.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

Den Wood is particularly good for fungi.  Its damp hollows create ideal conditions for species such as beefsteak fungus and honey fungus. The tall ferns take advantage of the damp conditions too, creating a ‘back in time’ feel to the wood.

Look out for:


The mature beech fringe around much of the site quickly gives way to a dynamic mixed native woodland with varying aged trees in a variety of shapes and sizes which have been sculpted by wind and water. The wetter areas of woodland are dominated by willows, with some areas of open ground. Gorse is encroaching through the open areas of the wood. It is being reduced in size to protect the open element of the woodland and provide space for planting aspen, a species which is notably absent from this woodland.


We acquired the wood in 1992 with help from Scottish Natural Heritage, Gordon District Council, and Grampian Regional Council. A further extension was purchased to the south of the main woodland block in 1996.

About Den Wood


Once part of the lands of Meldrum House to the South, there are a number of boundary walls and structures found within the wood.  The wood is classified as being ancient woodland of long established plantation origin from at least 1860. There is evidence of medieval rig and furrow in at least three locations within the wood. There are also signs of more recent use of the land to feed livestock during the winter, with the enriched soils around feeding ring sites at the southern part of the site.  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.

Things to do in Den Wood


There are is plenty to explore at Den Wood with around 3.5km of moderate walks to discover, including the Backhill Loop, Tulloch Trail and Hawhillock View.


Den Wood Management Plan

PDF  (112 KB)