New Deeside path opens to the public

A new section of multi-user path developed by Torphins Paths Group (TPG) at Dam Wood, near Torphins, was opened by Alexander Burnett MSP on Sunday, April 22.
Alexander Burnett MSP did the honours and declares the path open.Alexander Burnett MSP did the honours and declares the path open.
Alexander Burnett MSP did the honours and declares the path open.

The 500m path, with impressive steel bridleway bridge at the site of the old railway crossing of Blacklinn Burn, is an extension of the path at the Easter Beltie River Restoration site completed by TPG in late 2022.

Passing through the Forestry and Land Scotland, Dam Wood, the path currently terminates at a new lay-by on the Glassel road. This completes 2 km of the proposed Torphins – Banchory path, planned to connect with the new path developments at Banchory and the Deeside Way.

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The attractive multi-user path offers a varied route by the Easter Beltie Wetlands and onward to Dam Wood, with interpretation boards along the way displaying a strong heritage story of life on Deeside over the millennia, and more recently of the Deeside Railway.

Notably on the new Blacklinn Bridge, feature display panels tell the history of the Deeside Railway and the Gordon Highlander, a steam locomotive that ran on the line from the early 20th century up to the 1950’s, and which is exhibited at the Bo’ness Railway Preservation Society Museum.

A large crowd of local supporters and users, together with representatives of the project funders and contractors, attended the cutting of the ribbon by Alexander Burnett MSP, who said: “I’m honoured to open the Dam Wood path which will give residents and visitors alike new opportunities to explore our beautiful walks in Royal Deeside.

“I commend the dedication and tremendous work by the volunteers at the Torphins Paths Group to turn this exciting project into a reality, making it easier than ever to visit our varied landscapes and see our abundant wildlife.

“The new path will not only be beneficial to the health and wellbeing of all who use it but will also protect our area for future generations to enjoy and explore.

“This project will help to form wider plans to connect Torphins and Banchory into one long trail, allowing walkers to access fantastic places they’ve never been before.”

The current project has been supported by a grant of £84,000 from the UK Shared

Prosperity Fund administered by Aberdeenshire Council, with other funding on the route provided by The Postcode Lottery Trust and Scottish Government Improving Public Access Fund. Construction was by McIntosh Plant Hire (Aberdeen) Ltd with bridge design by Fairhurst.

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Torphins Paths Group is a registered SCIO developing and maintaining paths in and around Torphins. The Group has recently submitted a planning application for a proposed multi user path to connect Torphins and Lumphanan for active travel, recreation and tourism.

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