The Countess of Aboyne opened a new path linking the two communities of Tarland and Aboyne last weekend.
The path had long been an aspiration from the Tarland community to have a safe off road route and shortly after its construction the community named it the ‘Tarland Way’.
The 4.5km section links new sections of path and existing tracks and includes two bridge crossings over the Tarland burn.
On opening the path The Countess of Aboyne said: “COAT has been very clever in making this beautiful bicycle path both interesting and sympathetic to the landscape around. It is an inspiration.”
The community’s aspirations were formally recognised under the Core Path Planning process conducted by Aberdeenshire Council in 2007.
Peter Craig from the Tarland Development Group said: “This is a really attractive addition to the local network of walking and cycling routes. We hope that it will encourage visitors and locals alike to come and explore the timeless beauties of the Howe of Cromar from a new perspective. We are just about to publish a new booklet that will describe the route in detail and provide lots of background information to help walkers and cyclists to get the most out of their experience.”
The Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) on behalf of its funding partners were tasked with developing the route.
Funding assistance from funding partners was crucial to the projects success.
Murray Swapp, COAT’s senior access projects officer said: “The project was constructed in three phases over two years, the contribution from funders at each phase was very welcome and much appreciated.
“The MacRobert Trust, Aberdeenshire LEADER, Scottish Natural Heritage, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Aberdeenshire Council, The Scottish Government, The Climate Challenge Fund and Bancon Homes all contributed to the projects successful outcome.”