Alyth has been in the news fairly recently as the river Alyth which runs through the Town, burst its banks during a period of heavy rainfall, resulting in serious damage to the bridges, houses, businesses, vehicles and the built-up embankments alongside the river.
As our programme of walks is made up for 6 months at a time, Alyth has already been chosen some months ago as the Venue for the first walk in August.
Only 25 members appeared for this walk as the weather forecast wasn’t great and we did get rain on arrival and a shower or two during the walks.
From the square, the two walks for different abilities, crossed over the bridge and walked past the water damaged shops and premises where work is going on with lots of tradesmen attempting to get the shops re-opened and houses dried out.
Then the climbing began up through streets to a road junction where the Cateran Trail is over 60 miles long and goes from Alyth to Glenisla then on to Kirkmichael, Bridge of Cally, Blairgowrie and back to Alyth, and is the setting for the Annual Yomp when lots of fundraising takes place for ‘needy causes’. Our main group of walkers then heading towards the Lands of Loyal Hotel area and followed the trail up and over Alyth hill surmounted by its Millennium Beacon. Believe me, this is quite a climb and after a couple of undulations and a lengthy walk through wet and muddy paths eventually a tarred road is reached. Here they leave the Cateran Trail and go left to swing round Alyth Hill and eventually return by the Den of Alyth, making for a total of 7 or 8 miles of hard going.
The less able (or more sensible) members of the group walked up to the Lands of Loyal Hotel area, but then decided to have a wander round the main and back streets which we would not normally see on a visit.
After an hour and a half’s walking and a lunch break in the square, it was off again but this time towards the Den of Alyth. Uphill past an old saw mill and near the wonderful red sandstone church with its ornate archway, then into the Den which is certainly showing signs of the recent flooding.
Vast tree stumps and roots lie alongside the river, having been cut into sections then dragged out onto the path sides with wood chippings and sawdust showing that some heavy work has been in progress.
It’s a pity really as this is a lovely den and walk on a fine sunny day with it’s woodlands and bridges crisscrossing the river.
Maybe we will see it – and Alyth – in a different light on a future visit when it will be dry and warm with sunshine. Well, we can dream.
No sighting of wildlife other than a possible Kestrel this time. Maybe the animals and birds have more sense than us and stay sheltered and warm on rainy days. However there was a Be Aware sign for wild boar but no sightings.