16 December 2019

Aberdeenshire Council shows the way on community-led paths projects

A new pack offering helpful advice and guidance to support community-led action on paths has been unveiled by Aberdeenshire Council.

The guide will assist both those who are setting up a paths group and planning path work and those existing organisations which are already active with local community projects.

Aberdeenshire Council is striving to facilitate access to a network of well-maintained and welcoming paths and to protect access rights to enable residents and visitors to enjoy the area’s diverse countryside and settlements.

The local authority maintains some, but not all, paths in the region, with maintenance being prioritised for those routes the authority owns.

Many paths, including some core paths for example, are on private land and are not the responsibility of the council to maintain.

Through the new guide, the council wants to bring together landowners and communities to ensure there is a good quality path network in Aberdeenshire.

The pack contains a wide array of information on the setting up and work of a community paths group ranging from the practicalities of path maintenance and construction to handy tools, volunteer registration and risk assessment.

Chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, explained: “The benefits of a well-planned, maintained, accessible path network are important for both our health and our economy.

“Paths can also be a focus for community involvement and while not everyone will want to be closely involved in running or managing a group, by organising community events to help with particular aspects you will raise awareness and encourage pride of place and a real sense of ownership.
“There is a growing network of volunteer paths groups across Aberdeenshire engaged in practical work to keep paths networks in their area in good condition. Aberdeenshire Council wish to encourage and support this movement hence the production of this information pack.”

Individuals and groups considering setting up a path project can access the pack here: http://bit.ly/AbshirePathPack