Paths project to link villages in north Howe

Villages in the north of the Howe are becoming better connected thanks to a new network of rural paths.

The project, led by community group North Howe Transition Toun (NHTT), will see 2.5km of paths built, linking Letham to Cupar and Collessie to Ladybank.

Construction of the all-abilities paths — for walkers, cyclists and disabled people — has been going on since the beginning of October through contractors T&N Gilmartin.

A section leading north east from Ladybank to Cairnfield Muir and another at Gaddon Loch are already almost complete.

BENEFIT

The contractors have taken on a work experience trainee, 19-year-old Ryan Harrower from Ladybank, to help them build a short section of path at Brucefield Farm as part of the scheme’s community benefit.

Further north, the Letham to Fernie route is still under construction and will not be open until the end of November.

One of the main items still to build is a footbridge over Cunnoquhie Burn.

The bridge is also going to be a community project, in which bridgemaker Malcolm Strong will work with a group of volunteers.

He will be taking them through the process, starting with a sawlog of Douglas Fir and ending with a beautiful handmade bridge.

Local young people interested in being part of the bridge workshops, which start in early November, should contact NHTT on 0845 458 8335.

At Gaddon Loch, the new path and fences mean that some access will be maintained year round, even during the ‘close season’ when birds are breeding.

Where the new path has been constructed, it runs far enough away from the lochside so as not to disturb the breeding birds.

The whole core path route runs near the railway from Collessie down to Birns Farm and on to Ladybank, though not all of this has been improved yet.

Bike parking facilities will also be placed at five locations throughout the area — Charlottetown, Collessie, Letham, Bow of Fife and another next to the A92 by Ladybank.

DISTURB

The wider intention of the project is to create a network of safe and quick paths in the north of the Howe so that walkers and cyclists can avoid going on the busy main roads.

Funding has been obtained from Fife Environment Trust, Leader in Fife and the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund.

This is the first stage of a long term project and eventually NHTT would like to see a number of convenient off-road routes running throughout the north of the Howe.

For further information or to follow the project visit www.nhtt.org.uk