Discovery trail opens near Westhill

Elrick pupils with, from left, Sian Mutch of Taqa, Cllr Iris Walker, and Alison Sutherland, of the Ranger Service. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council
Elrick pupils with, from left, Sian Mutch of Taqa, Cllr Iris Walker, and Alison Sutherland, of the Ranger Service. Picture: Aberdeenshire Council

A new wildlife walking route has opened near Westhill.

The Arnhall Moss Local Nature Reserve Discovery Trail is a partnership project between Elrick Primary School, Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service and international energy company TAQA, which has its UK office based in Westhill.

Arnhall Moss is an area of land near the school which is widely used by the community for walking, learning and informal recreational activities.

Owned and managed by Aberdeenshire Council, it was first designated as a local nature reserve in 1992.

Councillor Peter Argyle, chair of the local authority’s infrastructure services committee, said: “Arnhall Moss is a valuable asset in Westhill and is enjoyed by many people such as walkers, dog walkers and office workers who use the area at lunchtime to enjoy the peace and tranquillity.

“The Moss is also used regularly by local schools and groups and, with the help of Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service, they learn about their local environment and how to care for it.”

He added: “The discovery trail will help school pupils and visitors to learn about the different plant and animals that make this area so wonderful.

“I would like to thank all the partners in this project for all their support in making this possible.”

TAQA has financially supported the discovery trail, bat walks and litter-picking equipment for the primary school as part of the partnership.

Samantha Silvers, corporate communications manager at TAQA, said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work in partnership with Elrick Primary School and the Ranger Service on an education project which aims to engage primary school pupils in the value and importance of the Arnhall Moss reserve.

“We hope that the discovery trail and quiz have brought a great sense of achievement and fun to the primary school children who are involved in its creation and that it will be of interest and use to the wider Westhill community.”

The discovery trail quiz leaflets are available at the Elrick Primary School website which can be found at http://elrick.aberdeenshire.sch.uk/important-links/arnhall-moss/.