Plans to transform ancient Cupar route

�26,000 project could see Moor road gifted to the town (Photo: Dave Scott)
�26,000 project could see Moor road gifted to the town (Photo: Dave Scott)

Cupar’s environmental group Sustainable Cupar has outlined its ambitions to improve the historic Moor Road, which runs over the hill to Ceres.

During a recent presentation to Cupar Community Council, Sustainable Cupar member Joan Brown explained the aim is to encourage more people to use the route.

She said that, in 2012, feasibility studies were carried out to see how much it would cost to develop a number of routes including a path linking the Wards and Cow Brae, behind South Road, a path from the town to the business park, and upgrading the Moor Road to Ceres.

An initial study for improvements to the Moor Road came in at £270,000 but a ‘much reduced’ plan was then drawn up, costing around £26,000.

Mrs Brown explained the plan would tackle difficulties with drainage at the top of the path and erosion at the Cupar end, as well as fallen trees across the path.

She said the upgrade had been costed by a consultant and was deemed to be a ‘viable project’.

To get funding, the charity has to engage with the community and has already been in touch with ramblers’ groups, schools and mountain bike clubs.

It is hoped that, if the project does go ahead, it will also be accessible to cyclists, mobility scooters and horses.

But Mrs Brown said when the group started looking at funding, the biggest stumbling block was finding out who owns the land.

Maps show it was an old drover’s route in the time of General Wade’s 1776 maps, while maps from 1911 suggest no local farmers have taken responsibility for it.

Mrs Brown said Sustainable Cupar intends to claim title to the Moor Road in the names of individual Sustainable Cupar members. She then added that, if the community council agreed, it would then be gifted to the community of Cupar and would become a piece of Common Good land.

Community Council chairman Canon Pat McInally asked if funding was in place and Mrs Brown confirmed 60 per cent of the £26,000 cost had been agreed in principle by the Fife Environment Trust. Applications are also to be made to Awards for All, she said.

She went on to say Fife Council’s rights of way officer Alison Irvine had been helpful and the local autority had indicated it would maintain the path once initial work had been carried out.

The chairman told her the community council supported the idea in principle, but Sustainable Cupar needed to be sure the proposed £26,000 would cover all costs.

Council treasurer Robert Graham added the communuty council could agree in principle but, ultimately, the Common Good responsibility would lie with Fife Council.

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