Walkers passing through Buckhaven will soon be able to take in the improved foreshore, as changes are set to be made to the Fife Coastal Path.
At the moment, walkers coming from Kirkcaldy come out at Viewforth and then follow Randolph Street to College Street, which misses the foreshore area.
However, Buckhaven and Denbeath Community Council were keen to see the route changed, so walkers could see the foreshore, while not taking any custom away from the shops.
When the changes are made, the route will go down to the foreshore, and then back up West High Street to College Street.
“We had seen tourists walking along Randolph Street,” explained community council chair, Michelle Ratcliffe. “They had the gorgeous scenery along the coastal path, from Kirkcaldy to East Wemyss, but then they got to Randolph Street and have to walk through that mess. It’s not very nice to see, after seeing all that scenery.
“We thought, why not take it along the foreshore? A lot of things have changed over the last couple of years and it is gorgeous. So why should they be missing out?”
The foreshore was once the heart of the Buckhaven community, and, in the mid-19th century, it was home to the second largest fishing fleet in Scotland. However, the area had been left to deteriorate.
That has changed in the last couple of years. A charrette in the village in 2017 asked residents how it could be linked back up with the foreshore and what could be done to make the most of the area.
Local environment group CLEAR installed benches, trees and history boards, while Fife Council put in a new path and an observation platform, in an effort to improve the area.
There are now plans to do a second phase of work on the foreshore and make it a ‘valuable resource’ for the area.
There are plans to add more heritage panels, giving people a background of the area’s history and environment. CLEAR is also inviting residents to share their own ideas for improvements.
“It’s the heart of the town,” said CLEAR member Allen Armstrong. “Buckhaven turned its back on the foreshore. It was one home to the second largest fishing fleet in Scotland. It was commonly called the green desert. It was terribly neglected.
“I think changing the Fife Coastal Path is good. By bringing people down, round the scenic area, you’re keeping people in the area longer.”