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Viewing tower on Culbin's Hill 99 trail is reopened


By Garry McCartney

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The resurfaced walkway and decking leading up to the Hill 99 tower, which offers panoramic views.
The resurfaced walkway and decking leading up to the Hill 99 tower, which offers panoramic views.

A PICTURESQUE visitor attraction that was closed for safety renovations has finally reopened after two years.

The Hill 99 viewing tower in Culbin Forest was closed in June 2019 due to safety concerns about degraded decking, but owner Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) was finally able to start welcoming sightseers back onto the structure again at the end of last month.

FLS area visitor services manager, Fiona Robertson, confirmed there has been extensive refurbishment.

She said: “In 2019, we found that water was not draining from the structure properly and that this was affecting some boards. We decided to close the tower and begin refurbishing it.

“The works took longer than any of us could have foreseen with the Covid-19 pandemic, along with other external delays. We’ve replaced the decking boards from top to bottom, so we hope visitors enjoy the amazing views across the forest and the firth.”

The tower was opened in 2008 and attracts 30,000 visitors-a-year. It has views north over the sand dunes and the Moray Firth, and south towards the Cairngorms. Hill 99 is described by FLS as a great way to enjoy a “‘squirrel’s eye’ view” of the forest.


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