27 March 2023

Works to start on repairing popular storm-damaged path linking Methlick to Tarves via Haddo

Works to repair a popular and important active travel route between the village of Methlick and Tarves via Haddo Estate are due to start today (Mon, March 27).

The £26,000 project to reinstate the path – which suffered significant damage during Storm Arwen – is being made possible thanks to support from Aberdeenshire Council in partnership with the Formartine Rural Partnership and Haddo Estate.

It falls under the council’s aims to reduce short journeys by vehicle and encourage more active and sustainable travel.

Chris Menzies of the council’s Strategy Team confirmed that previous monitoring of usage suggested a high level of foot and bike activity, but without the path these users currently have no option other than to drive to Haddo County Park.

He said: “Rural links between settlements have an important role to play and with the huge uptake in e-bikes, commutes between communities are becoming easier and more popular.  We are delighted to support the delivery of paths like this as the benefits are huge in terms of health, the environment and economically.”

Cllr Iain Taylor, chair of the council’s Formartine Area Committee, added: “Supporting people to access the country park and other nearby settlements sustainably reduces vehicle travel which in turn helps reduce carbon emissions and improve our own health. Working in partnership like this is a great way for the council to help meet local needs.”

John Loder of the Formartine Rural Partnership said: “This is an incredibly popular path, used by many to access the country park at Haddo and to travel between Tarves and Methlick. After the devastation caused by storm Arwen, there was a real sense of loss among local residents and we are delighted to see works commencing.”

The Formartine Rural Partnership, meanwhile, is continuing to look at opportunities to link Ythanbank and Fyvie as part of longer term access proposals.

In 2021 Haddo Estate granted Tarves Development Trust a licence to occupy the land necessary to complete the link by the installation of a path from Little Raxton to the Thornroan Bridge.

The link path installation to Haddo from Tarves was organised by the Trust working in partnership with Tarves Community Council, with funding coming from the trust's own resources along with grants from Nature Scot and Aberdeenshire Council's Formartine Area Committee. The work was undertaken by local building company Michael Duncan Builders.