A north-east coastal community is breathing a sigh of relief with much-delayed work to repair its access road finally underway.
Crovie was badly affected by a landslide last September and for almost a year residents have been forced to travel in and out of the village on foot.
That has proved difficult for less mobile locals and has also had a significantly detrimental impact upon the communities ability to make the most of summer tourism.
Aberdeenshire Council made the decision to close the road until work to stabilise the slope above the access road had been completed.
But as at nearby Gardenstown – which was also affected by landslips – there have been numerous delays in carrying out the required repairs,
Stabilisation work has twice been postponed but Geo-Rope Ltd, based in Ballachulish, are now on site, beginning a project that is expected to be completed within ten weeks.
Landowner and Laird of Gardenstown and Crovie Estate, Marc Ellington, said it was a “big relief” to see the repairs underway.
He said: “I think it’s a bit overdue but they’re beginning and that’s a great relief to everyone who has an interest or appreciation for the village, whether visitors or locals.
“I have been involved in trying to get things started in Gardenstown and I’m delighted the work’s now going on at Crovie.
“It has impacted the summer in the village as we’ve had limited access, although there has been a council vehicle to move bigger things down.”
Mr Ellington said Crovie remained “a very special place”.
“It is one of the last unaltered villages in northern Europe and really is absolutely magnificent,” he said.
“For those who live there, however, this has been a major disruption and it has been particularly difficult for older people and those who have disabilities.
“A lot of people here also rent out their cottages for the summer so it has had a big economic affect on everyone.
“It’s a great relief to have the work beginning and we’re all looking forward to its completion.”
The project, which was originally anticipated to last 14 weeks, will involve the insertion of steel reinforcement bars into the slope before mesh and erosion protection matting is draped over the surface.
Slope stability will also be ensured by draining and managing surface water.
Head of roads, landscape and waste services, Philip McKay said: “While the delay has been unfortunate and unavoidable, we have attempted to mitigate the effects of the closure on residents and businesses and will continue to do so until the works are complete and the road reopened, communicating regularly with the community.
“The council recognises the issues being faced by the communities of both Gardenstown and Crovie and we are sympathetic, as well as being prepared to undertake significant engineering projects to protect the public road network and ensure it is safe and accessible.”
Work is due to be completed at the beginning of October.