A campaign group with concerns that the new A96 dualling proposals could threaten historic woodlands and heritage sites in Aberdeenshire has amassed more than 200 members.
The Logie Elphinstone Community Action Group was established in June by residents throughout the former Logie Elphinstone Estate, including the villages of Whiteford, Durno and Old Rayne.
The group believes two options put forward by Transport Scotland as part of the ambitious, multi-million pound A97 dualling project could cause damage to the natural environment and history of the region.
The estate was sold off to community ownership in 1952.
Dave Pert, a member of the community action group, said the pink and brown route proposals would go through historically important parts of the former estate.
The group has overlayed Transport Scotland’s proposals on maps from the 19th century, showing where the modern road would go through forests and old estate land.
Mr Pert said: “At present, our community is facing the threat of division by both pink and brown alignments, which seems to put us in a somewhat unique position.
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“We are campaigning on the basis of woodland, wildlife, heritage and community, to try and raise the profile of our community and our stories, and to draw attention to the immediate and clear threat which the remaining route alignments bring to our community and environment.”
A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “As part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to dualling the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen, we are progressing the design work for the east of Huntly to Aberdeen stretch of the route.
“Having let local residents see and comment on the initial options last October, we held further engagement events in May for the remaining options being taken forward for further assessment, and more than 1,300 people took the opportunity to come along and view the material.
“We value the environment we are working in, and place particular emphasis on striking a balance between delivering the A96 dualling and respecting the sensitivities of the corridor.
“The in-depth planning and design work we are taking forward includes an environmental assessment of the options under consideration to ensure that we deliver the right scheme and keep impacts on the environment, communities and businesses to the absolute minimum.
“The consultation is now closed, and all feedback received – including from the Logie Elphinstone Community Action Group – is vital and will be taken into consideration as we look to identify a preferred option for the scheme later this year.”