Balbirnie Woodland Walk

It’s time for another wee walk in the Balbirnie Estate, Fife – socially distanced of course!

Balbirnie Path and burn

The burn (stream) in the photos is variously called Balbirnie Burn or the Back Burn. It’s a lovely thing but quite devoid of wildlife. The problem apparently is that there is too much sediment in it and not enough gravel for fish to lay eggs in. There was going to be a project to try to rectify that problem, but that may be on the back burner now due to all the costs of the lockdown to the local council.

Balbirnie Path and burn, Markinch, Fife

Like many old estates this place was well known for rhododendrons, there was a bit of a craze for them in Victorian times and Balbirnie has some unusual and very old specimens.

Balbirnie Path and rhoddies

Strangely the reddest rhoddies seem to bloom first, but I prefer the paler colours.

Balbirnie Path and rhoddies, Markinch, Fife

Balbirnie Path and rhoddies

The ferns below must be the most elegant variety growing in the UK. There are big pockets of these ones around the woodland in Balbirnie, I think they’re called shuttlecock ferns.

Ferns Balbirnie Park, ferns, Markinch, Fife

Ferns, Balbirnie, Fife

There was a tall cherry tree still in blossom. It’s a shame that it never gets warm enough here for the fruits to ripen properly.

Blossoming Trees, Balbirnie, Fife

Rhoddy flower, Balbirnie

Walking in a big loop we reached the ‘big hoose’ again and as the hotel is closed for the duration, like everywhere else we slipped through the gardens and I took a photo of the small Magnolia below, I believe the variety is stellata but the photo isn’t as good as I hoped it would be so it’s not that clear.

Magnolia (stellata)

I hope you enjoyed your walk in the woodlands. It wasn’t as empty of people as you might imagine. We had never seen it busier; usually we have almost the whole place to ourselves but people who never before exercised aroud this area are now making good use of the place. There was even an ex-leader of the Scottish Labour Party out and about.

4 thoughts on “Balbirnie Woodland Walk

  1. A beautiful springtime walk! I’ve come to appreciate rhoddies since we moved here. They are prolific in Cornwall of course. As are ferns. But those elegant shuttlecock ferns are stunning. You’ve caught them at their very best. (I have no idea if you’re right on the name but I hope so! It’s a great name!)

    • Sandra,
      I think Cornwall and a lot of Scotland have similar soil. perfect for rhoddie growing. There is definitely a fern called shuttlecock and I can’t imagine that another one looks even more like a shuttlecock! I love them.

  2. What a lovely area to be able to walk in. Our Botanic Garden is re-opening soon, but only for members and only with reservations. We are members but not sure whether we want to make reservations or not.

    • tracybham,
      Our nearest botanic garden is in St Andrews and we have been meaning to join as ‘Friends’ for ages as it’s really beautiful. Maybe we’ll do that when our lockdown is over. Meanwhile we are so lucky to have this place at our back door.

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