A Walk Around Glen Tanar

The weather has been so nice that this week we set off on our second adventure in the beautiful glens of Scotland, this time heading to Glen Tanar just outside of Aboyne! It’s not as far as Loch Muick so perfect for a nice afternoon out. The wind was strong but the Glen was very sheltered with a large forest area so we were out of the worst of it and got to enjoy our walk without being blown away.

Though there weren’t any signs saying dogs were to be kept on the lead there were lots of cyclists out with it being the weekend, so we were kept on the lead apart from for a few photos here and there. Luckily we had already had a good run around playing football for 45 minutes that morning so staying on the lead was fine! Katherine uses a cani-cross belt for hands-free walking with us; it gives us lots of space on the lead too!

We reached a viewpoint that looked over the forest and then started heading down the hill towards the river. Part of the way down we saw a funny shiny stick lying across the path....

But it was no stick, it was a slow worm warming herself up in the sun and the second of the Scottish reptile species we found so far this year! Slow worms aren’t worms and they aren’t a snake though many people think they are, they are actually a legless lizard! Slow worms aren’t slow either, although this one didn’t do much to slip away when Katherine picked her up. They are pretty docile!

They can drop their tails though if alarmed so have to be careful with them as it isn’t good for them to lose their tails as that is their defence mechanism against predators. Katherine took a few photos of the slow worm and then placed her close to where she had been but off the path and away from the risk of been run over by one of the many cyclists that were also using the route. Hopefully she stayed out of their way!

We said goodbye to our slow worm friend and continued along our route now following the river and we came across a nice couple who were urging toads off the path ahead to get them out of the way of other users of the footpath. Further on we found the ruins of a cottage so had a little play around there, we like playing on ruins!

Our route then took us over several nice bridges crossing the river and then back into the forest. We passed a few other walkers and cyclists, but it is such a big place these were few and far between. A few people stopped for a chat and a couple warned us about toads on the path ahead. They were worried in case maybe we tried to eat them or something as they didn’t know if they were poisonous to us dogs. They do have toxins in their skin that can cause us to have an unpleasant reaction with foaming at the mouth, but our native toads aren’t likely to be lethal. Not that we try to eat them anyway, we’re not interested and they don’t smell like anything nice to try and eat!

Continuing onwards we could see the toads hopping around on the path ahead of us and we carefully made our way along the path of toads.

We made it through without any collisions with toads passing by a lovely but fenced off pond (where there were even more toads) and crossing over another bridge to an open area. We followed the river and found a spot where we could have a little swim – but Katherine hadn’t brought any of our swimming toys with us! She was wondering whether to take one of our toys with us or not and decided not! We hope she has learnt – if she needs to think does she need to take our water toys with us she should take one just in case!  

The river was close to the end of our walk and the area was busy with other people passing by. So there was probably no wildlife we could disturb (no more than it already had been anyway) so we were allowed to stay off the lead and have a bit of a run around! We found a log that had been made into a bench, though we have to say we don’t think it would be very comfortable for you people to sit on unless you had lots of padding on your rears!

Not much further along was the car park and the end of our walk, we were pretty tired out after that! We’ve had a busy weekend with playing football, agility (which we will talk about in one of our blogs we promise!) and now a lovely long walk so we will sleep well tonight! Can’t wait to see what next week brings! This week we have found two of the three local reptiles...could we maybe find the third to tell you about in our next blog???

Millie, Fly and Katherine T x


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