Heritage trail to be open by Easter

The trail now goes full circle
The trail now goes full circle

It’s taken 10 years, around £3 million and some delicate negotiations - but at last the dream of creating a path round Loch Leven is about to become reality.

The finishing touches are being put to the last 6.5km section of the Loch Leven Heritage Trail, which will open to the public by Good Friday, April 18.

It means that walkers and cyclists can now follow the loch round its entire 21km circumference, and there is full access for people with disabilities.

The project has been spearheaded by TRACKS, the Rural Access Committee of Kinross-shire, and funded mainly by the Heritage Lottery fund, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Gannochy Trust and the Arthur Margaret Thompson Trust.

A veritable army of volnteers has rallied round to help the contractors, planting trees and hedges under the watchful eye of SNH staff.

Pieces of artwork are still to be put in place and a formal opening ceremony is being planned.

“It will have taken 10 years to design and complete the Loch Leven Heritage Trail, fulfilling a community wish that has been there for decades,” said project director Neil Kilpatrick.

“There are two groups of people without whom nothing would have been possible - the landowners and the sponsors.

“It is a huge cast and a most impressive example of community spirit and support.”

It took a year of sometimes tortuous negotiaitions with landowners before work could begin on the final stretch of the trail, which closes the gap between the RSPB Loch Leven reserve and Loch Leven Mills in Kinross.

TRACKS say this part gives the best view of the loch and its surrounding area, and a specially-designed viewpoint with a seating area has been installed.

It’s anticipated that the trail, which already attracts over 200,000 visitors a year, will also be in demand for sponsored and community events.