Burntisland-based company scoops accolade in first Scottish Walking Awards
British Alcan Aluminium Ltd, based at Whinnyhall Treatment Works, has been awarded the ‘Land Manager Walking Champion’ accolade in the first ever Scottish Walking Awards 2021.
The award was made for all the assistance the company has given to Craigencalt Rural Community Trust to improve the paths network with path construction and other facilities.
British Alcan Aluminium Ltd is part of Rio Tinto Alcan and it continues to monitor the old landfill site and operate its treatment plant at Whinneyhall, on the side of the Binn.
The Trust has been in existence for ten years and in that time many projects have been completed. Many of them have greatly improved access and enjoyment of the area around Kinghorn Loch for an increasing number of visitors, and the building of the jetty has improved ease of use of the loch for water sports as well.
Marilyn Edwards from the Trust said: “The Trust has worked with landowners during all its projects, and we are very grateful to them. Alcan is one of our local landowners, and they have given continual support with every project the Trust has undertaken.
They have freely provided plant and personnel to complete the ‘beefy’ tasks in creating new paths. This help has been invaluable, and has shown their long-term commitment to working with the community.
“The Trust is committed to making its paths accessible to all, disabled users and families with buggies, runners, cyclists and horses, and especially attractive to youngsters.
"Our Rodanbraes project, completed in 2014, is a particular example of this. The path had a steep incline at its start, so a diversion through the woodland was created to make this section of the path less steep, which we equipped with a ‘Troll’ bridge to allow children to act out ‘Three Bully Goats Gruff’, complete with its own troll. The finished bridge and path are still a big attraction together with a picnic place, shelter and interpretation boards.
“A connecting path through the woodland near the loch was the next project undertaken, and again the Trust had the assistance of Alcan for the ground works and surfacing. Our latest project, to put in a new path through the woodland at Red Path Brae, allows pedestrians to avoid the dangerous, bad bend in the road. This has proved a very popular safety measure.”
She said the next big project for the Trust will be the construction of a new path starting from opposite Burntisland Golf Course and up the steep hillside with a gentle path up to Binnend.
This replaces a route put in some years ago that has deteriorated badly. Alcan is keen to support this new path which is still at an early stage. It will be a substantial project to complete, but working together has been the key to success.
Rod Edwards, Trust company secretary, added: “The Trust is replacing the sluice bridge at the outflow of the loch with a wider one to make it disabled, cycle and family friendly as it is currently too narrow.
"This is a pinch point on our paths network, which is otherwise disabled accessible.
"Once this is done, we will be working with Alcan to put in a disabled fishing station at the loch but the bridge is vital to give access to this.”