Community paths make the grade

Scotland's Paths Grading System was launched in 2014 to help standardise path descriptions across the country.

Scotland's Path Grading System

This approach is now widely used by community groups, private landowners and national recreation providers such as NatureScot and Forestry and Land Scotland.

Several community paths projects we have funded through our Community Paths and Active Travel grants have used the system to great effect in their promotional leaflets, interpretation panels, websites and online Apps.

The straightforward 6-part system features:

  1. Path Name (and waymarker colour or way-finding symbol)

  2. Path Promotion or description

  3. Grade Symbol

  4. Terrain Description

  5. Distance

  6. Time

We wanted to share the work of community path volunteers to inspire more community groups to feel confident to use the Paths Grading System.

Aboyne Paths and Track Group

Supported by Mid Deeside Community Trust, the local volunteer group maintains, develops, and promotes Mid Deeside’s walking trails in Aberdeenshire. In July 2020 they created a leaflet with a map of the area detailing six local walks. Free copies are available at local shops, cafes and pubs and there is a version displayed on the village notice board.

Visit their website for more information. 


Castlemilk Park Steering Group

Owned by Glasgow City Council the park is managed by Casiltoun Housing Association and Castlemilk Park Steering Group with a Community Woodland Officer to coordinate activities.

Their Connect with Castlemilk Park leaflet features a Daffodil, Waterfall and Icehouse walk promoting the different nature trails across this urban greenspace. Find out more about the park online.

Lumphanan Paths Group

Founded in 2019 the constituted community group are members of Scotways and Aberdeenshire Community Action to promote and improve their local path network.

Their Lumphanan Walks leaflet provides detailed descriptions of routes around Lumphanan and between Lumphanan and Kincardine O' Neil. View their map on their website

Tarland Development Group 

The charity promotes community activities in Tarland and Cromar in Aberdeenshire and has created a low-level walking leaflet called Tarland – a great place to walk. 

They have the walking map on their website, along with a description of each walk too. 

South Ayrshire Paths Initiative   

South Ayrshire Paths Initiative is a volunteer community group dedicated to the development and promotion of a network of safe and attractive walking and cycling paths and routes in South Ayrshire.

Their recently completed Blue Bonnet Walks, which retrace the footsteps of Rabbie Burn’s famous character Tam O’Shanter have been rated as "Easy" in their leaflet and interpretation panel.

You can view the Blue Bonnet trails leaflet here and find out more about the Blue Bonnet Walks here

Find out more about Scotland's Path Grading System.

Email for more information on grading your paths which is a condition of grant funding from Paths for All's Community Path grant scheme.

Watch our webinar about Using Scotland’s path grading system.