Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Still dreaming of a coastal path between Nairn and Inverness

At the recent re-launch of the Nairnscotland.co.uk website it was mentioned that the coastal path between Nairn and Inverness remains on the Nairn Economic Initiative’s wish list but it is not a high priority. Maybe it is considered a bit too ambitious in the current economic climate and the lack of a specific individual to take it forward was mentioned too. 

Why we at the Gurn think it would be of great benefit to the town if this “missing link” footpath could become a reality was outlined in an article back in February of 2015 entitled: “The “missing link” coastal path between Inverness and Nairn – Highland Council accused of no action over last 18 months - a project with potential economic benefits going nowhere?”

We don’t want to have a pop at the Nairn Economic Initiative folk though, they are working hard on many fronts and can’t do everything. A line apparently exists for the Nairn-Inverness footpath however and thus, perhaps it is our Highland Councillors who should have kicked a few backsides to make it happen in the recent past when money was still around. But hang on a second one of our regular readers sends us a link to information that demonstrates that there is still money out there for paths if you get your action plans or bids or whatever right. Our correspondent tells us:

“Crianlarich (population 200) creates a £200k local path network and picnic area as a project organised by their local Community Development Trust and funded by the Big Lottery and the Forestry Commission. If they can do it, can Nairn (population 10,000 and with not one, not two but at least three community development groups - NICE, NEI and River Enterprise) do something similar?”

So how did this come about? Over to a site called “Nick Wright Planning”, he states:

“Crianlarich is an inspiration for other communities who are thinking of putting the Community Empowerment Act into action. Everybody involved should be justifiably proud of the transformation that they’re delivering in Crianlarich. But remember – behind those smiling faces last Friday was a lot of hard volunteer work. “ You can read the full article by Nick Wright here. 

The Gurn understands that some NEI folk are going to visit one or two communities that have been successful in getting larger scale initiatives off the ground. Maybe they should drop by Crianlaich too – Crianlarich gets £200K with 200 people in their community, just how much should we be due pro rata?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well done Gurn. I Agee this could have a huge benefit to the town. Arbroath to Dundee another excellent example of what can be done.

Anonymous said...

A great article - although i thought we elected the Councillors in Inverness and Nairn to be these thinkers, the planners, the people with the resources and time to think of bringing these kind of economic & health benefits to the people it serves...you know kind of DOING THEIR JOB

as for money
plenty for tilting bridge art-work, new art structures on roundabouts on the way into inverness to make it more inviting to tourists and of course - money to straighten out bendy roads for the rat-runners.............

murd dunbar said...

MURD
May I suggest this would make a fine starting point for the ramp to be installed at the Firhall.
A your readers will well know you and myself and some others have tried for this for years with the offer from the Army local Sawmill to assist. But still no ramp SOMETHING that would be of benefit to the town and all who cannot access the bridge as it is.
THE WALK arround the river is an much an asset to A holiday Town as it is to locals who can make use of it.
I live in hope that not only the organizations you have already mentioned and any one else who think this is some thing worth taking on board will try and get something for the benefit of the TOWN.
It was mentioned on another Blog think positive and you will get things done.
Well I can assure you THINKING positive is what I have being doing for years so lets hope the saying comes true and it will get done

MURD DUNBAR

Strandloper said...

In the Gurn above on this subject, Mr Gurnmeister, you said

"At the recent re-launch of the Nairnscotland.co.uk website it was mentioned that the coastal path between Nairn and Inverness remains on the Nairn Economic Initiative’s wish list but it is not a high priority. Maybe it is considered a bit too ambitious in the current economic climate and the lack of a specific individual to take it forward was mentioned too."

Ambitious? No. It is already an agreed policy priority. Perhaps the NEI had failed to notice that the "closing of gaps" in the National Walking and Cycling Network of paths (and the Nairn-Inverness section is a gap in the Moray Firth route) is identified as a formal objective in the Action Plan of the government's National Planning Framework 3.

Lack of a specific individual? No. The responsibility for taking this forward rests with Highland Council as the local authority, in conjunction with SNH. The Council has a specific individual who is directly tasked with this: the Access Officer.

Graisg said...

Thank you Strandloper. A quick search comes up with an SNH document:
http://www.snh.gov.uk/docs/A1176123.pdf

But no mention of the Moray Firth in that. Could you give me an idea of where to find a bit more information?

Graisg said...

Oh dear Strandloper, found another one. http://www.snh.gov.uk/docs/A1498385.pdf
Looks like it might happen within a 20 year framework.

strandloper said...

There's no shortage of formal policy documents setting out the requirement to deliver the Inverness-Nairn coastal path (and for that matter the parallel "Landward Trail" running inland.

Highland Council formally adopted as Supplementary Guidance in January 2013 a "Green Networks" document. See http://www.highland.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/2959/green_networks_final_supplementary_guidance.pdf

Page 40-41 of that agreed policy includes the following "We need to address all the gaps in the network to create a flowing path network....." and "....where there are no proposals for development we [Highland Council] will negotiate with land managers to secure agreement to install paths..."

Try asking the Council Access Officer how much negotiation he has done in the last three years.

Graisg said...

Thanks will check that out. Where there is a will there is a way? A landward trail would be good too, all you have to do on that is get folk to Cawdor and the walk to Nairn along the river is already there.