Westhill & Elrick Community Council [WECC] have celebrated completing two major projects upgrading the Westhill Orbital Trail after receiving £119,895 in funding last year from our Ian Findlay Path Fund.
An allocation of £29,949 was directed towards the construction of an 480m long path which has greatly improved the accessibility for users of path networks in the north of Westhill.
Additionally, £89,910 was allocated to the restoration and upgrading of the main 1.1km east-west through route in Carnie Woods, along with new signage and the creation of resting points. This area, including the woods themselves, suffered significant damage during the 2021 Storm Arwen.
In partnership with Aberdeen City Council who own the woods, the WECC hope that through re-routing and upgrading the path it will service as an alternative for everyday journey and reduced car use within the town.
Gordon Prentice, Treasurer of WECC said:
Paths for All awarded us 70% of project cost for these two paths which has been was pivotal to WECC going ahead. Being able to secure such a generous contribution made the task of raising the balance much less formidable.
The 480m stretch of the Westhill Orbital Trail on the northern edge of Westhill was a very challenging sector of as the path was very rough and prone to flooding, rendering it virtually unusable and certainly unattractive several times a year. Drainage problems were made worse by serious storm damage from Storms Arwen and Malik in the winter of 2021/22.
Although the original route had been cleared by volunteers, the prospect of creating a professional finish using volunteers alone was impossible to contemplate. Hence the search for funding.
The Westhill Orbital Trail is a 12.7km circuit of Westhill connecting a series of roads, tracks and paths on the edge of Westhill with two new links at the Westhill Golf Club and Lawsondale Woods, with another now at Carnie Woods.
Since the launch in August 2022, 24 projects across 15 local authority areas in Scotland have received funding totalling nearly £1.3m from the IFPF.
Community groups, third sector organisations and charities wanting to improve the accessibility of their local path networks are eligible to apply for between £10,000 to £100,000 in the second year of operation.
Community groups interested in applying for the second round of funding can reach out to the Ian Findlay Path Fund team at IFPF@pathforall.org.uk.
For more information about the Ian Findlay Path Fund, visit https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/ifpf