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Kincorth Local Nature Reserve

Kincorth Hill local nature reserve Kincorth Hill is on the south side of the City to the south of Kincorth. There are access points from the car parks at Abbotswells Crescent (eastern side of reserve) and Nigg Way (west side) and from various points along the edge of the housing estate.

A series of paths running across the hillside through area of coniferous & deciduous woodland, grassland, scrub, heath and past a pond. Good for birdwatching, nature watching and dog walking with areas to stop have a seat and enjoy the views across the city. Sculpture trail which serves as an orienteering course. Interpretation boards throughout the site.

Paths are steep in sections, but generally path surfaces are good.

There is parking at both ends of Nigg Way, accessed from Abbotswell Crescent and A90 and pedestrian access all along Nigg Way. Disabled spaces designated at the Abbotswell Crescent car park

Maps of the Core Path routes can be seen on the Core Paths Plan page.

Main habitats at Kincorth Hill Local Nature Reserve


Historically Kincorth Hill would have been dominated by heathland but since areas were quarried for granite and backfilled areas of grassland have developed. The heathland comprises a mix of the three native heathers, cross leaved heath, ling and bell heather along with a range of other acid soil loving species.

The site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1997 (41ha)


Kincorth Hill has areas of rough grassland. Around the disused quarry and in areas to the west and east ends of the reserve tall grasses and wildflowers dominate. Wildflowers such as yellow rattle, knapweed and cow parsley flourish in summer. Scrub is beginning to spread into many of these areas of grassland.


Some areas of the reserve were planted up with a mix of conifers including lodgepole pine, larch, Scot's pine and sycamore. Many of these areas have been thinned recently to favour the native species and other areas planted up in 2009 with a mix of more wildlife friendly species including Scot's pine, Norway spruce, larch, alder, willow and rowan.


Large areas of the site have become dominated by gorse and broom scrub. This is good habitat to provide cover to species such as roe deer and other small mammals as well as nesting sites for many small birds. It is however very invasive and needs to be kept in check to prevent it from taking over more valuable habitats. Gorse flowers during most months of the year but makes a colourful sea of yellow in late spring and early summer when most of it flowers. The flowers have a strong smell of coconut.


There is a small pond towards the eastern end of the reserve. In the spring this can be alive with frogs and frog spawn but also look out for palmate newts and numerous other pond creatures.

Many of the old quarry working can also have short seasonal ponds in the bottom. Access to these is hazardous and should be avoided.

Ranger led activities at Kincorth Hill

During the summer months the Rangers organise a range of public events at Kincorth Hill. The Countryside Ranger Service will also lead activities such as pond dipping and minibeast hunts for groups booked in advance.

A Kincorth Hill Local Nature Reserve Education pack is available on loan to schools from the Countryside Ranger Service.

Other sites close by

A network of paths link Kincorth Hill with other local areas such as the Wellington Road Woods, Cove Woods and the Coastal Path.
Please note that you will have to cross busy roads to access these sites. Maps of the Core Path routes can be seen on the  Core Paths Plan page.

It is also close to Lochinch Farm.

Back to the Country Parks/Countryside Ranger Service home page.