On November, 1939, the Newfoundland Commissioner for Natural Resources made an important radio announcement.

He called upon Newfoundland lumberjacks to volunteer to go to Britain, where they were desperately needed to cut down trees for the war effort. In response, the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit (NOFU) was formed.

Dalmochie Camp was one of thirty-five NOFU forestry camps set up across the Scottish Highlands. The camp was built on the slopes of Craig Coilleach, across the River Dee from Ballater.

The first job for the Newfoundlanders on arriving in Scotland was to build the camp. They built log cabins, including bunkhouses, a cookhouse, a recreation hut, an office and a tool shed. The cabins were draught proofed using moss gathered from the forest, which was stuffed tightly between the logs.

On entering Pannanich Wood, now fully restored with trees, it is difficult to believe that these slopes were once cleared of trees in service to the war, but only a short way along the track into the forest you can discover the remaining traces of the lumberjacks' camp.


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Visiting Dalmochie Camp

The exact location of Dalmochie Camp is grid reference NO 380 960.

Start from Ballater. It is located east of Aberdeen and north of Perth on the A93.

The Lumberjack Trail is a delightful short walk of just over a mile (2km) and appropriately starts at the old Royal Station in Ballater. The walk then leads down Bridge Street, the main road through Ballater, and crosses the Royal Bridge over the delightful River Dee. The trail enters Pannanich Wood. A little further on are the remains of the loggers' camp.

For those who want a shorter walk, there is a small car park at the wood. Drive over the granite bridge from Ballater, turn left and you will see an entrance into the wood on your right. You can park there.

All sites managed by Forestry Commission Scotland are open for you to explore. However, not all sites have paths or signage and some are a considerable distance from car parking. We recommend that visitors consult a detailed map and wear appropriate clothing.

Please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and remember that historic sites should be treated with care and respect.

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