Signposting the way to better health

Volunteers in Aberdeenshire have made local paths safer and more accessible with the help of one of our grants.

Signposts outline historic routes

Lumphanan Paths Group was awarded a Community Paths Grant to help make paths safer while raising awareness of community routes. 

The grant, supported by the Scottish Government, has helped part fund the signposting of a five-and-a-half-mile route following the Old Military Road from Tullochvenus to Kincardine O'Neil on the Deeside way, and the creation of an informative leaflet detailing the routes and history.

The volunteers hope to encourage more people to explore the countryside, with the group restoring the route to make it safe and more easily accessible.

Linda Gray, chairperson of the Lumphanan Paths Group said:

The upgrade of the old military road took a year to complete due to challenges with lockdown.
The year-long work included: the installation of metal ‘finger’ direction signs, timber posts with way-marking arrow discs, fencing, general maintenance and the creation of the information leaflet – which details the seven different routes.
We had to work individually or in groups of two due to the restrictions. A lot of the time we had to think outside of the box, as work that may require a few pair of hands to help, most of the time had to be done alone. 
The group enlisted the help of the local community with around 10 additional volunteers helping out over the course of the project. Everyone brought a different skill, and it was nice to see individuals muck in for a common cause during a difficult year.

Lumphanan Paths Group was formed in 2018 with seven female volunteers ranging between 40 and 70 years old with one common interest – improving routes in the local community and raising awareness about what is on its doorstep.

The project has raised awareness about existing routes for people to walk and has highlighted the history in the area which many people did not know existed.

Linda added:

We have seen an influx of people using the routes since we began this project and are delighted with the outcome – it is great to see our hard work appreciated by the local community.
There has been such a range of people making use of the paths – we’ve even been able to encourage some teenagers to walk the full route instead of playing on their Xbox!
The route often went unnoticed before the project started and it was a real shame as the scenic beauty is amazing, from wildlife spotting to spectacular views of the Cairngorms.
The health and wellbeing benefits that come from being outside in nature are endless so if we can encourage even some of the local community to get out and enjoy the Lumphanan landscape then it will have been worth our time.

Last year, we awarded over £65,400 worth of grants to 33 groups across Scotland, from the Isle of Lewis to the Scottish Borders, who have transformed neglected parts of their local path networks.

Lumphanan Paths Group received more than £1450 from Paths for All and match funding from our friends at ScotWays. 

Our grants scheme is supported by NatureScot, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.