Upgrade to begin on historic north east Fife route

Fallen tree on the Moor Road
Fallen tree on the Moor Road

Members of a north east Fife environmental charity have announced that work will soon begin on improvements to one of Cupar’s most historic routes.

After months of careful negotiations and legal process, Sustainable Cupar has managed to take ownership of the Old Moor Road, which runs between Cupar and Ceres and is well used by commuters, dog walkers, rambling groups, schools and mountain bike clubs.

The upgrade will involve improving drainage, dealing with woodland management issues including the removal of some fallen trees, and addressing erosion of the footpath caused by water.

When complete the old drover’s route will be much more accessible and further deterioration should be halted.

The news that the work will begin soon is the result of a 60 per cent grant being awarded by Fife Environmental Trust (FET). The remaining 40 per cent of costs to upgrade the core path will be met by funding from the Lottery body, Awards for All.

Local architect and Sustainable Cupar trustee Gary Paterson explained that work was initially put on hold when the owner of the land could not be found.

He said: “Despite extensive searches in the Land and Sasines Registers we could not find out who actually has ownership and none of the adjoining landowners had made any claim to it.

“We discovered that no title to the path has been exchanged in the last 200 years but funding bodies insisted that owners had to agree to the work before any money could be released.

“In these circumstances Sustainable Cupar claimed title to the Old Moor Road and in doing so, satisfied funding conditions and will bring a beautiful woodland active transport route up to an acceptable standard.”

Mr Paterson, who will project manage the work, added that Fife Council has agreed to continue to maintain the path once improvements have been made.

It is likely that drainage and rebuilding works will begin in the summer, once a contractor has been appointed.

Local schools using the route for health and wellbeing activities will be consulted to make sure disruption to their plans is avoided.

For more information on Sustainable Cupar visit www.sustainablecupar.org.uk