Friends of Duchess Wood needs your help !


Friends of Duchess Wood will be at this event on both days


Duchess Woods in the Paper

If you go down to the Wood today.

.Work has been carried out over the summer  in Duchess Wood to substantially improve the footpath network.In June a new  path was created linking Duchess Gait to the main path round  the Wood and the wider footpath network in the area.In August the low level path from the car park at the top of Kathleen Park round to Rhu Road Higher entrance was repaired and  resurfaced.David Lewin Chair of the Friends of Duchess Wood said.” The new link path will enable people to walk  on a good surface safe in all weather’s from the sea front via the path behind  Duchess Gait into the Wood and then on to the Highland Man’s and Three  Lochs Way  and other paths in the area.   Resurfacing the All Abilities Path has created a smooth surface much safer for people with restricted mobility using walking aids and mobility scooters. We want as many people  in the community and visitors  to access the Wood safely with the resulting  benefits to physical and mental health time in Wood brings. We are grateful to Luss Estates, Argyll and Bute Council, Persimmon Homes, Helensburgh and District Access Trust( HADAT), Lomond School and the Scottish Open Garden scheme for donation to make this work possible”.

The Friends are holding an Information Day on Sunday 29th August to gather data on visitor numbers and children will be invited to carry out a butterfly spotting survey.

Carolyn with her guide dog Pixie and and Rhona with her assistance dog Clara who said they now feel confident walking in the Wood. 

Local resident Andy Russell on his mobility scooter who said the newly resurfaced path has enabled him to visit the Wood again which he couldn’t do otherwise.

Film tribute to Duchess Wood in Helensburgh wins Daisy a cash prize


Thurgood Bridge closure

From Friday morning 7th May until work finishes on Monday 10th May the Thurgood bridge will be closed.

This temporary closure is to allow repair work to be carried out to some of the steps which are now in poor condition.

It is likely further closures will be needed to complete the work.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Helensburgh group hoping to retain woodland’s Local Nature Reserve status

Read the Advertiser article on our Twitter account

Extract from the Herald 26th Dec

Dust off the Christmas cobwebs ( One of ten Walks in Scotland to walk off Christmas)

Duchess Wood, Helensburgh

Just a short walk from the centre of Helensburgh lies the Duchess Wood. It is large enough to feel like you have escaped civilisation, but short enough that you can loop around it in less than an hour. Dogs will love running around and exploring the forest, while kids can enjoy spotting squirrels and birds between the trees.’


As highlighted in the Autumn Newsletter the 2020 AGM will be held on Tuesday 26th January 2021 at 7:30pm.  Due to current covid-19 restrictions the meeting will be held by Zoom.  This impacts the meeting in two ways:

  1. The time for the meeting will have to be limited to 40 minutes so the agenda will be somewhat constrained.  For this meeting we will not be inviting any motions from members.
  2. We are limited to the numbers that can attend and places will be allocated on a “first come first serve” basis.  Therefore if you would like to attend this virtual AGM please let me know by cop Friday 15th January. ( email
  3. Instructions and links to the meeting will be sent out week commencing 18th January.

The agenda will be:

  1. To receive and approve the annual report of the Executive Committee.  This will be forwarded to members in the new year.
  2. To receive and approve the annual statement of accounts.  This will be forwarded to members in the new year.
  3. To approve the appointment of any office bearers.
  4. To elect members to the Executive Committee.
  5. To approve a financial examiner.

Best regards

Martin Grafton

Secretary FODW

The Friends of Duchess Wood wish you all Seasonal Greetings and a better 2021


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AMAZON SMILE Please consider supporting Friends of Duchess Woods when shopping on AMAZON by using this link

RUBBISH BINS Whilst the future of bin collections is discussed between Argyll and Bute Council and Luss Estates, LEC are continuing to empty bins although this service can not be guaranteed in the longer term.

BMX BIKES We are aware that there has been some work in the wood by persons unknown in constructing a BMX cycle course.  We have been in discussion with both Luss Estates (owner) and Argyll and Bute Council (manager) of the woods and it appears that, despite neither having been approached for permission to do the work from an access point of view walkers, horses and bikes can exercise their right to access as long as they are responsible.  From the photos there appears to be nothing terribly permanent about the structures and there is no sufficient engineering aspects that would call for planning department involvement.  The council view is that they have only enhanced the lumps, bumps and shapes that already exist.

We encourage all uses to make use of the wood in a responsible manner being cognizant and sympathetic of other users.

DOG WASTE GOOD NEWS Argyll and Bute Council has now resumed emptying of the Dog Waste Bins .


During the current phase of the covid-19 crisis we will not be organising any voluntary activity in the wood for the foreseeable future.  In the meantime there is a significant amount of information available to help you keep safe – including guidance on keeping fit and taking exercise.  Good starting points are and 

We wish you well during this challenging time.

Future of Local Nature Reserve Status for Duchess Woods


Friends of Duchess Woods have now been informed by Argyll and Bute Council that the Duchess Woods are now officially open now that they have completed work on trees and fences etc

Repairs to the Thurgood Bridge
Damaged fencing replaced
New Tarmac to the Car Park