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Aberfeldy countryside improvement works get green light after £5k funding

Andrew Barrie of PKCT and Peter Howell of the Upper Tay Paths Group.
Andrew Barrie of PKCT and Peter Howell of the Upper Tay Paths Group.

An ambitious bid to improve parts of the Aberfeldy countryside have been given the go ahead after than £5,000 of funding.

Shoppers at the town’s Co-op raised the cash which will go towards providing better access to rural areas.

Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) successfully submitted the Aberfeldy countryside project as a Co-op cause last year.

The trust plans to use the money to introduce signage and improve pathways to make them more accessible for everyone.

The Fair City organisation will work alongside the Upper Tay Paths Group, a community team that works to maintain and improve paths around Aberfeldy.

PKCT’s Strategic Routes Officer Andrew Barrie will manage the access and improvement works.

“Especially given the situation we all find ourselves in with the Covid-19 pandemic, we at PKCT are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Co-op shoppers in the Aberfeldy area towards our Cause to improve access to the outdoors in the area for everyone,” he said.

“No one should be denied the opportunity to enjoy the incredible countryside because of ability, so we aim to install self-closing gates, level out paths, improve drainage, and more to ensure everyone can explore outdoors.

“Being outdoors is also great for physical and mental health and wellbeing, and wonders like the Birks and River Tay are certainly excellent places to enjoy nature and unwind.”

The access improvement works will be undertaken on some sections of the River Tay Way.

The new long-distance walking and cycling route – between Perth and Kenmore – follows the River Tay, and connects Perth, Luncarty, Stanley, Dunkeld and Birnam, Aberfeldy, and Kenmore through a “daisy chain” of community links.

Earlier this year, the scheme was given a financial boost of £77,000 to go ahead.

The River Tay Way allows for low carbon and active travel, and provides an additional boost to the local economic income for the area.

Co-op members that chose to support this cause allocated 1% of their money spent on Co-op branded products to it.

Aberfeldy is not the first area to see path access works introduced by the PKCT.

In November 2018, Perth and Kinross Council approved a £100,000 grant for a safe walking route through Auchterarder.

It came as the PKCT were raising more than £550,000 to rebuild the Provost Walk to make it suitable for cyclists, prams and wheelchair users.

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