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Fernaig Community Trust Footpaths Project

Location Details 

Fernaig Community Trust - AECS Improving Public Access

The proposal is to construct an unbound surface 1.5m wide half tray footpath, with Type 1 sub-base and geotextile sheet, by experienced contractors (with additional volunteer input) beginning at an entry point adjacent to Achmore Bridge (NG 857333) and terminating at Braeintra forestry track (NG 865325), with stock fencing, one standard design timber bridge, gates and other associated equipment (information boards, fingerposts, way markers, culvert and benches) and a descriptive leaflet will be produced to promote the new path. There will be provision for dog waste disposal bins.

The path is considered in the schedule of works as three sections (Riverside, Hayfield and Shelterbelt) with a short 70m break at a point known as the Nursery field where the path will follow an easy existing route under a line of mature beech trees.  The path will be constructed to the standard set out in Paths for All – Lowland Paths Guide; graded as 'easy' except for a short length at the Braeintra entrance graded 'moderate' (Paths for All, Path Grading System, January 2016).


Section 1- Riverside

With an entrance adjacent to Achmore bridge, the 1.5m path follows the existing fence line to the river bank then along three field boundaries and will be a corridor 3m wide with new stock fencing along one side (the river side is already fenced). Stock proofing is essential both for protection of, and from, livestock and the path itself. The land is generally flat and well drained (soft in parts) and should not pose difficulties in construction. It crosses two existing large field culverts (with field gates allowing stock and equipment access between fields) and will bridge the Braeintra Burn some 50m upstream from its confluence with the Ascaig where there is an existing watergate. The burn is 4m wide at that point and a further 3m of bridge on each bank is required to give sufficient vertical clearance for the Burn when in spate, which occurs after prolonged heavy rainfall. The bridge will have 1.2m clear deck and appropriate concrete or timber abutments will be constructed (See Path Bridges – Paths for All Partnership) and a timber bench provided. The path continues along 200m Burn bank upstream to the allotment bridge with no stock fencing required on this part. Here users have a choice to carry on, or use the allotment and public roads to return to Achmore.

Section 2 - Hayfield

This section follows the existing north boundary fence of the community hayfield, again a 3m corridor and stock fencing on one side, as the field is used for winter grazing for ponies. The path will then turn south, with a field gate to permit access to the field further to the east, to exit point at the Nursery.  Here a stock fence will be placed some 20m in from the current boundary (ditch and fence).  This will provide a protected area for future new shelterbelt mixed native woodland planting on land unproductive for hay.

Section 3 – Shelterbelt

From the south exit of the Nursery field, this path follows a moderate gradient through attractive planted mixed native woodland (Forestry Commission’s Woodland Grant Scheme, 2002) for 205m up to the Forestry track exit/entrance at the Braeintra road.  A timber bench will be installed at the top along with fingerpost and information board. A small burn flows down the east side and the path is crossed at one point by a large drainage ditch (at 48m) which will require a piped culvert. Towards the top, drainage is poor and some ditching work may be required.  No stock fencing is needed.

Can you help the Fernaig Trust?

The good news is that the Footpath project through the Trust land linking Achmore to Braeintra is about to happen as we obtained a grant and an experienced contractor is starting work in the next month or so. 

Getting the grant was really good news but there is a shortfall that our small Trust will have to cover so we have just begun the process of trying to raise these funds. To this end the Trust have put an appeal on http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fernaig to try and reach a wider group than just local residents. 

We would obviously like your support and if you can help you can either use the crowdfunding site or by a direct donation to the Trust. But we would also ask for your support by sending the link above or sharing it with as many people as you can - family, friends and acquaintances. Also if you have any business contacts, work colleagues or you are members of other networks perhaps you could you share the link with them too. We will keep a record of those who donate and want to be named on a 'Roll of Honour of Supporters' board that will be publicly displayed when the path is completed. If people wish to remain anonymous then, of course, we will respect their wishes.

We do hope you can help us in whatever way you can.

Many thanks

Lizzie Bird

Fernaig Community Trust