A quarter-of-a-million pounds has been awarded to enable substantial improvements to be made to a popular north-east walking and cycling route.
Nestrans has received support from Sustrans Scotland to increase the width of the path along The Deeside Way.
The £250,000 award will be used to ensure safe physical distancing for those who use the route as the shared path connects several communities along the 41-mile route.
Improvements will build on almost £90,000 of recent work undertaken on two sections of the route and will involve cleaning overgrown vegetation, fixing drainage issues, resurfacing and removing barriers.
Chair of Nestrans, Councillor Sandra Macdonald said, “I am delighted that this approach has been successful.
“The Deeside Way is a much-loved path, with beautiful surroundings, and it is no surprise it has been well-used during the recent months.
“A combination of environmental factors has meant the path’s width has been restricted in some areas and these works will help to regain that lost space.
“This not only allows for better physical distancing, but it enables the path to be safely accessed and enjoyed by all for years to come.”
The path is part of National Cycle Network Route 195 and serves as a popular active travel route for locals and visitors alike.
Vice-chairman of Nestrans, and chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, added: “We know more people will choose to travel by walking, cycling or other active means if they can use traffic-free paths, such as The Deeside Way, and we are lucky to have a number of such routes in the region.
“The news that this call funding bid has been successful is therefore great news for all users of this fantastic route.”
Director of Sustrans Scotland, Karen McGregor, said they were “delighted” to support the project.
She added: “Giving everyone in Scotland the space and opportunities to walk, wheel and cycle safely is more important than ever, and the significant rise in active journeys over recent months has shown the huge public appetite to make healthier travel choices.
“The beautiful greenspaces of traffic-free routes such as the Deeside Way are a vital part of this, and we look forward to continuing our work to create a National Cycle Network of paths for everyone, loved by the communities they serve.”