Funding conundrum holds up path improvement plan

The group finds itself between a rock and a hard place as far as Moor Road is concerned
The group finds itself between a rock and a hard place as far as Moor Road is concerned

Plans to improve a much-loved footpath between Cupar and Ceres have hit a stumbling block - because no-one knows who owns it.

The environmental group Sustainable Cupar has funding in place to improve Moor Road, an historic route once used by drovers.

The group wants to improve drainage, remove fallen timber and rebuild eroded sections of the paths so it can be enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users.

Thanks to Fife Environment Trust, Fife Council and Awards for All, the money is available to carry out the work - but all the grants come with the proviso that the permission of the owner has been given before work starts.

However, it seems that no owner of Moor Road actually exists.

“None of the adjoining land owners lay claim to the path and searches of Land and Sasine Registers show no title to any part of the route has been recorded for over 200 years,” said Joan Brown of Sustainable Cupar.

“Efforts by Sustainable Cupar to claim title to the path, so that improvement work can commence, have been rejected by the Land Registry of Scotland with no advice offered on other means of acquiring ownership.

“Sustainable Cupar has approached the local MSP, Roderick Campbell, and Scotland’s Community Empowerment Minister, Marco Biagi, but neither has advised of any solution to the situation.

“We will continue to request exemption on ownership criteria with the funders, while also pursuing other means of obtaining title to the path through the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer Remembrancer’s Office (QLTR). However, these grants awarded in principle are time-bound and will be withdrawn if not spent soon.”

Meanwhile, although Sustainable Cupar Trustees may be disappointed with the Moor Road morass, the group’s other initiatives are for ging ahead.