01 April 2021

Iconic Cambus O May suspension bridge reopens after major repair works

The iconic Cambus O May suspension bridge which was severely damaged by floods during Storm Frank at the end of 2015 has reopened following major repair works.

Forming part of the Cairngorms National Park’s core path network, the Edwardian structure over the River Dee has always been a popular spot for locals and visitors as it crosses the river at such an eye-catching spot.

The bridge was built in 1905 and was a gift to the public from Alexander Gordon some ten years after his death, along with the Polhollick Bridge and several other buildings in Ballater.

It is a Grade B listed structure, which had to be re-built in 1988 for safety purposes and was then re-opened by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

Donald MacPherson, bridges manager for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “It has been a major undertaking to repair the Cambus O’ May suspension bridge and our thanks go to contractors Moray Blast for the very impressive work they have undertaken.

“I would also like to thank Ballater Royal Deeside for their very successful community fundraising effort and the Scottish Government for providing the remaining funding which enabled these works to be undertaken.

“This is the last bridge to be repaired in Aberdeenshire following the devastating Storm Frank and it really highlights a determination on the part of the community to protect these important listed assets to the benefit of all.”

Kate Allum from Ballater Royal Deeside added her thanks to all the people who generously contributed to the funds for the repair of the bridge.

In September 2019, His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay made a personal donation to the community fundraising effort.

TRH The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay said: “We are delighted the Cambus O’ May footbridge is at last being reopened after five years of closure due to Storm Frank.

“Aberdeenshire Council has worked hard to achieve this and the local community has pulled together once again with very generous donations ensuring the bridge will once again be used and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.”

Susan Cooksley, manager of the Dee Catchment Partnership, added: “We're delighted that this iconic bridge over the Dee has been fully restored and is once again open to the public. The power of Storm Frank was a lesson for all of us in the devastating consequences of flooding, and we need to carry these lessons forward as we work together to create a catchment that is more resilient to the effects of climate change.

“The Cambus O' May bridge is one of many beautiful and popular spots on the River Dee, and we look forward to seeing visitors returning there to enjoy nature.”