History and Background

The Birks of Aberfeldy is a nature walk on the outskirts of the small town of Aberfeldy , where I was brought up. It acquired the name of "The Birks" from the predominance of the Birch tree within it. There are a variety of other species of tree to be seen as you walk round, however.

The valley that the birks lies in was shaped during the ice ages, and through the centre of the valley runs the river Tay. The Birks itself contains one of the tributaries of the Tay - the Moness Burn.

The Moness Falls lie at the top of the Birks , and can be seen on the index page of this photographic tour , and also midway through the tour. The falls themselves are soectacular, sa the photographs show.

There is a wild variety of wildlife to be found within the Birks , and a booklet is available listing some of the flora and fawna that may be seen.

The popularity of the Birks is at least in part thanks to the song written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Burns is said to have written the song after resting in a small naturally formed seat in the rock , at the side of the birks. The location of this seat is known , and a plaque allows those passing by to identify it. He visited the Birks, then known as the Den of Moness, on the 30th August , 1787 ; the Falls of Moness have been a scenic walk for over 2 centuries! In more recent days the Moness estate, and the Perth and Kinross council have established a path through the Birks, and the public are welcome to walk around. Below I have placed a copy of Burn's poem;

"The Birks O' Aberfeldy"

Bonnie Lassie, will ye go,
Will ye go, will ye go,
Bonnie Lassie, will ye go
To the Birks of Aberfeldy?

Now simmer blinks on flowery braes,
And o'er the crystal streamlet plays;
Come, let us spead the lightsome days
In the Birks of Aberfeldy.

While O'er their heads the hazels hing,
The little birdies blithely sing,
Or lightly flit on wanton wing
In the Birks of Aberfeldy.

The braes ascend like lofty wa's.
The foaming stream deep-roaring fa's
O'erhung wi' fragrant spreading shaws
The Birks of Aberfeldy

Extract from "The Birks of Aberfeldy"
by Robert Burns

Click here to enter the Virtual Birks.

This page is designed by and copyright Graeme Bell.