Den of Maidencraig
Den of Maidencraig Local Nature Reserve is on the western edge of Aberdeen just off the B9119 Skene Road near the Aberdeen Crematorium.
An interesting site with grassland, wetland and ancient woodland habitats. Excellent for birdwatching, pond dipping, dog walking and general wildlife spotting. Pond dipping platform.
Some paths are quite steep, but the bottom of the valley and the pond can be accessed from tarmac path alongside the site. The path through wood is steep with steps, boardwalk and natural obstacles!
The site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1992 (16.5ha)
There is car parking on north side Skene Road at the reserve car park just west of the traffic lights at the Groats Road junction.
Main Habitats at Den of Maidencraig Local Nature Reserve
Den of Maidencraig Local Nature Reserve is located in the valley of the Denburn, one of the larger burns which drain from the surrounding countryside and eventually joins the River Dee in the centre of the City.
There are three main habitat types at Den of Maidencraig, grassland, woodland and fresh water:
Much of the site is made up of relatively improved grassland which is managed with a single cut in late summer. The species mix has been enhanced with the planting of wildflowers in several areas. The grassland is an attractive habitat for a wide range of insect and birds, listen out for the musical song of the skylark from high over head on warm summer days.
The majority of the woodland is coppiced hazel and rowan. The traditional method of managing coppice woodland is to cut the trees to just above ground level and then allow them to regrow for 7-15 years before harvesting another crop. In this area the coppice has not been cut for a considerable time but during 2002 the first area was cut to restore this habitat to its former glory. The woodland will be divided up into compartments and one cut every year or other year. The resulting variation in age structure will improve the habitat value of the woodland.
The Denburn flows through the valley though it is not very accessible along most of its length. The burn feeds a man made pond which attracts a ranges of insect and bird life. In several places there are areas of interesting marsh plants particularly in the wooded area where the marsh is crossed by a boardwalk.