Aberdeenshire volunteer group achieves national success

Founder posthumously recognised for outstanding achievement award

Aboyne Paths and Tracks Group (APTG) were named as Path Group of the Year at our 2023 Volunteer Awards.

The Aberdeenshire volunteer group was recognised for its commitment and dedication to improving its local path network.

The group was formed in 2019 by Jonathan Kitching, who posthumously received the Ian Findlay Outstanding Achievement Award for his role in setting up the group.

Jonathan brought extensive knowledge of the outdoors in the surrounding area – spearheading the development of a map which detailed the network of interconnecting paths locals and tourists could access.

Despite founding the group while living with terminal cancer; Jonathan’s enthusiasm built a community of 60-committed locals who have helped maintain the paths for all those who use them.

Meeting monthly, the APTG maintains paths throughout the Aberdeenshire village, providing training to volunteers to allow them to use strimmers and bush cutters safely to maintain the routes, as well as first aid courses.

Isabel Davies, Secretary of the group said: “The award is a brilliant recognition of all of the hard work demonstrated by our volunteers. We’re extremely lucky to have such a dedicated and enthusiastic bunch of volunteers who have worked hard over the past four years to maintain the pathways across Aboyne.

This is a very exciting time for our group as we have two major projects underway which will see the group making new paths in the area for the first time which will open the access to people with mobility challenges, wheelchair users and prams.

“The group wouldn’t be where it is today without Paths for All’s support, funding and training opportunities so I would like to thank them for not only the award but also helping us grow and sustain being a group.”

View the full list of winners from our 2023 Volunteer Awards here.