Path repairs to start on Scotly Hill

WORK is to start this month on repairing paths on Scolty Hill and is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

Banchory & District Initiative Limited (BDI) and Banchory Paths Association (BPA) awarded a contract for the repair of paths to Upland Access Ltd.

Tony Brown, a BDI director and chairman of the Scolty Trails Enhancement Project (STEP) which is managing the work on behalf of BDI and BPA, said: "Due partly to the phasing of grants received from funding bodies and due partly to the difficulty of working in the winter, the work programme will not be continuous.

"We will do our very best to limit the restrictions placed on walkers, but paths will need to be shut from time-to-time to enable the work to be completed safely. Work will only ever be performed on one path at a time, however, and so there will always be three paths to the summit available for walkers."

John Mason, BPA chairman, added: "The STEP committee is to be congratulated for obtaining the funding for the work, which has not been easy. However, once potential funders were shown the state of the paths they all accepted the need for the work.

"The hill is one of the best viewpoints in the Dee valley and we are now getting over 60,000 cars a year into the Scolty car park, with the increasing number of visitors putting a lot of pressure on the hill.

"The work on the paths is not only timely from the point of view of the path damage but also as some paths will become part of the Aberdeenshire core path network and will link into the Deeside Way, moving slowly towards completion."

Sue Edwards, BDI chairwoman, said: "It has been good to see the co-operation between BDI, BPA, the landowner, Mr Middleton, Scolty Woodland Parks Association, the Forestry Commission and Aberdeenshire Council, that has brought this project to fruition.

"The STEP project is a very good example of what BDI is all about - bringing many parties together to benefit the community."