Doune Ponds started life as a sand quarry but is now a peaceful nature reserve.
It comprises three ponds, each distinct in its own right. You arrive at the first pond on your left as you enter the reserve. It’s the smallest and near its middle is an island. The second pond is circled by trees. It has a raft near its middle used by swans and coots. Picnic benches afford you the opportunity to rest and meet with friends. Take along seeds, oats or brown bread to feed the ducks, and you’ll be guaranteed their company.
The last pond has reeds at its rear where birds nest. It is perhaps the most peaceful being the furthest from the gate.
There are all types of trees and bushes including; Willow, Myrtle, Rowan, Wayfaring tree and Birch.
Birdlife you are likely to encounter includes coots, mute swans, whitethroats, willow warblers, robins, swallows and swifts. You may spot a grey heron craftily fishing, too.
If you are interested in foraging, keep your eyes open for fungi in the summer and autumn.
Take the stairs at the back of Katie’s corner up onto a view point of the village. Continue further into the woods and a walk up Cromaty. Turn left at the end of the hill walk to continue up to Argaty. Turn right to return to the village.
It won Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2017 being an example of an under-used and under-valued community asset which was brought back to life by a determined and very focused group of volunteers.
“Winning the Small Community Woodlands Award made all our volunteers extremely proud,” says Tony Farrant, Chairman of the Doune Ponds project. “It has had a galvanising effect on the wider community as the recognition made people sit up and take notice of what we had here.” Source Chartered Foresters.