Local MP Opens Path Link to Highland Society Bridge, Braemar
Sir Robert Smith, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, formally opened the long awaited path linking Braemar to the Highland Society Bridge. The 1.2km route provides much needed and improved access for locals to the wider network from Glenshee Road, and had been identified as a high priority project by the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT).
The Bridge had been built in 2006, but lack of funding had meant that the path to it was never completed, leaving a bit of a muddy hike across the fields to it. COAT have now remedied this by raising the necessary funding through LEADER, Cairngorms National Park Authority and SNH, and then managing the contract to build the route. Sir Robert Smith MP stated “I would like to congratulate all those who have made this path possible and thank them for all their hard work.”
Invercauld Estate and Braemar Community Lld helped greatly in defining the final line of the path. Simon Blackett, Resident Factor for the Estate said ‘InvercauldEstate was delighted to make the land available for what has turned out to be a very popular circular walk along the Clunie and linking in with the Queens Drive’.
Local contractor Bob Fyvie constructed the path over the winter, using a snow plough at one point to clear the line of the route and keep the work on schedule. Murray Swapp, East Cairngorms Access Projects Officer for COAT said ‘the community had long held the aspiration to have a path linking the village to the bridge, and we were delighted to be able to deliver it this year. We are grateful to the support from Cairngorms LEADER, Cairngorms National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage for funding this, and for Invercauld Estate for giving permission to build the route on their land. It was a bit rough weatherwise at times this winter, but Bob did really well to get the job done in difficult winter conditions’.