The members met in the Arboretum carpark and were greeted by the owner Hamish Lochore, who offered to accompany us on the walk and identify some of the species of tree and points of interest. The Arboretum was started in the 1970s, but was severely affected by Dutch Elm Disease. In 2008, Hmaish decided to clear out all the old elms and replant with different species. The 60 acre site has been divided into different zones, with the aim of providing colour and interest throughout the year. Most of the trees and shrubs have been grown from seed collected by the owner. The main threat to the collection is now from Ash dieback.
There is a large collection of oaks from all over the world, a eucalyptus plantation, a collection of species from Chile,and a Japanese garden at the highest point of the Arboretum from where there is a fine view of Findhorn Bay and the Moray coast.There are the remains of three quarries, ponds and small lochs and a variety of wild flowers throughout the year. As well as a profusion of buttercups, there were many orchids.
Hamish was a most enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, and so keen for us to see everything that the walk was a bit longer and more tiring than some of us were expecting. That aside, everyone enjoyed the visit and will return to explore in autumn and spring.