A beautiful sunny day (and warm when out of the wind) encouraged us to venture out to new ground today. We walked around Delnies Wood off Moss-side Road, hoping to get down to he beach. We’ve been in and around Nairn for many years and I’m ashamed to say that we had never walked here before; this just shows how many great places there are around here! This little gem was made even better by; no cars, no people and no dogs! Fantastic! The natives were singing well – mainly Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Robins, Wrens and Dunnocks. The archetypical sound of woodland (used in every film ever made in this country) is that of the Greater Spotted Woodpecker. Unfortunately it is not as common as the film industry makes out, but it was alive and kicking in Delnies Wood today! A loud echo-ey drumming in the distance (a longer drumming rhythm than the Lesser Spotted version) signalled its presence to us and kept us company for a few moments.
We ventured over the increasingly rough terrain going down a number of steep paths over large humps of grass and soil and protruding tree routes, knowing all the time that each hill was a point of no return, and so we were praying that we could get out at the other end! Before we reached the end of the public footpath on the Southside of the A96 section of the walk, we were confronted by ‘a hill too far’. We could see that we could get to the bottom of the hill from within the Caravan Park, where we could continue. Kate calmly made her way along the top of the slop looking for an alternative route to continue.. She found a way out of the wood via a farmers track and beckoned me over. Very grateful that we weren’t fenced in, we made our way onto the road leading to the entrance to the Caravan Park and into the Park in the hope to of picking up the public footpath at the bottom of the hill. We entered the park and sadly we were greeted by an over zealous park manager shouting to us that this is private land and ‘you can’t come in’! We tried to explain we were looking for an accessible way back to the public footpath, but all she was interested in was getting us out of the path and onto the A96!
Eventually we managed to convey that we were not planning to break into the caravans (actually there were none on site; sadly, last week’s snow putting off any potential visitors). She allowed us access to the bottom of the hill where the footpath continued around the perimeter of the park. By now we were pretty fed up with her attitude and just wanted to get out, but it was useful to see where we could pick the path up for future reference. I understand the security issues, but there has to be a less threatening and rude way of dealing with visitor, rather than assuming everyone without a caravan is a thief!
Anyway, we headed for the car via the country roads on the southside of the wood, taking in the views of the Geese in the fields and the Yellowhammers in the stubble in the fields and in the trees on the perimeters of the fields. Loads of them! At leas 70 I’d say. Into the car and some refreshing sustenance!