A path linking a popular Aberdeenshire tourist attraction with its nearest village was officially opened yesterday.
The path, funded by the Formartine Partnership, begins at Methlick Wood, through Gillha Wood onto the Haddo Country Park.
Lady Aberdeen was joined by pupils from Methlick Primary School and chairman of the Formartine Partnership, John Loveday, to mark the opening.
The two-mile path is designed for wheelchairs, pushchairs and bicycles and forms the beginning of a potential Ythan Trail.
Mr Loveday last night said the path was a “step in the right direction” towards the longer route, adding: “It has been a long held ambition to create a multi-user long distance path through the beautiful Ythan Valley – The Ythan Trail would go all of the way from Newburgh on the coast up to Fyvie Castle.
“The Haddo link is probably the most important part of that as it has re-opened an ancient route between Haddo and Gight Castle.
“Given that the hoped for long distance path would be many kilometres in total length, the Methlick to Haddo link path that covers only a few kilometres, may appear to be a very long way from realising that dream.
“But that is not the case as this much needed, albeit short, ‘link’ in the proposed overall path network represents a very important move towards our long-term dream.”
The walk passes through young and old woodland populated by red squirrels and Scots pines.
It is hard surfaced and crosses burns on newly built bridges, there are gates at the entrance and exit as well as two in the central section, but all of these features have been designed to allow an easy passage for all types of path users.
The Formartine Partnership is now working to create further sections of the long distance Ythan Trail, to link up already established public footpaths.
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