Monday, January 28, 2013

Community Councils want to see Nairn on a long distance coastal path network – tourism, environmental and recreational benefits to be had they say!

Last Wednesday night the combined Community Council meeting in the URC hall, under the Chair of Tommy Hogg River CC, decided to investigate the possibility of extending the Moray Coastal Path through Nairn, westwards to join up with the Great Glen Way that finishes in Inverness. An initiative that would see Nairn placed on a major walkers’ network that already exists from Peterhead to the Culbin Forest. The potential to attract walkers the other way from Inverness is obvious too.

Cllr Brian Stewart said: “In terms of tourism, environment, of access to the outdoors and all the rest of it, if it were possible to promote and encourage, not just the rebuilding of our little bit of path but a joined up approach which actually ends up with a Coastal Path all the way along the Moray Firth and the boost that that would give to tourism and those who would like to bird watch or whatever would be significant.[…] If Grampian can do it, if Aberdeenshire can do it, if Buchan can do it and Moray can do it, it seems to me no obvious reason why Highland can’t."

Brian’s thoughts found unanimous support from the Councils and the fifty odd members of the public in the hall. Since then the Gurn understands that Colin MacAulay has provided the councils with information about an existing plan for a coastal path. It is a very interesting document but it hardly has a high profile. Maybe the political or organisational will hasn’t existed before to take this forward but now an initiative has come forward from the town’s Councils that should put this project right up the agenda. It is interesting to contrast the Highland Council wish list document (you can download a copy from this page) with the reality in Moray. Have we been slower off the mark as a community to ask for this sort of thing or have the authorities not really bothered with it?  Perhaps a mixture of both really. There is cash available as this HM Treasury page proclaims. 

Gurnites who are long distance walkers will appreciate how the large numbers that can be attracted to this genre of path spend cash in the communities they visit. Walkers will treat themselves to comfortable beds and wholesome meals at each stop and a whole infrastructure grows up to support them – services to take bags on to the next B&B etc. It goes without saying that Nairn is a perfect natural stop on such a coastal walk. This observer supports the Community Councils (the Usual Suspects) who wish to make this path a reality and hopefully the business association, the local tourism sector and local politicians all the way up the pecking order will support them in their worthwhile efforts.


MURD said...

A coastal path by all means! But why not look after what we already have the walk from the ~[Firhall Bridge to Cawdor} is almost impossible to use in fact I would go as far as to say it is A danger for most and if anyone is not a 100% percent fit would not recommend it at all This is a lovely walk with all nature has to offer and you can watch fishing see Cawdor Castle HAVE A PINT IN THE TAVERN. So why not fix what is already there first be cause it is badly in need of it plus the fact what we do have is neglected. Paths are already allowed to be over grown grass uncut so I would say get your own house in order first without creating another path to be neglected as is the case at the moment and don't forget the need for a ramp at the Firhall Bridge had to get that in.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree about the river walk to Cawdor. Tackled it last summer and found it very hard going with the dogs finding it very difficult through the overgrown footpath.

growtosow said...

a fair point made by murd on the state of this path it needs to be done before it gets even more unsafe, with regards to a coastal path yes it would be good to see one in place, i took a walk along the golf course yesterday going by the alton burn hotel, this is the we way we used to go to this part of the beach on our school hols, its been quite a few years since i had been along this way, and a fair bit of change to the coast line with large rocks put in place to preserve the golf course, but i noticed further along the coast the tide had come over the rocks, this would be a lovely walk if it were too be developed.