Forestry Commission Scotland have reported that they are closing sections of one of the most popular trails on Bennachie, to carry out a £20,000 rebuild.
The four week operation, which started last week and will continue through to the middle of November, will renovate a section of the Mither Tap quarry trail, which has been badly eroded by increasingly frequent torrential rains and the sheer number of visitors to the Bennachie’s Oxen Craig summit.
Emily Holmes, the Commission’s Recreation Ranger for the area said, “Bennachie is an iconic forest in Aberdeenshire, loved by many for it wildlife, history and extensive network of paths which provide fantastic recreation opportunities.
“Unfortunately, the quarry trail is one of the most popular and has been a victim of its own success, particularly the section between Little Oxen Craig and Oxen Craig.
“To make good the trail, we’re going to have to use heavy machinery so for public safety, parts of the trail will be closed for the duration of the project and we strongly advise visitors to follow any on site safety signage and diversions.”
“We know people will be itching to see the new improved path and enjoy a much easier walk to the top of the hill but we’d ask them to continue to use the alternative signed route to Oxen Craig for a couple of weeks after we have finished the build to allow the path to settle and firm.”
“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused and hope that visitors will appreciate why the trail is closed.”
Although the work will cause some disruption, the improvement of the trail is essential both for the safety of walkers on the hill and the long-term viability of the route.
There are various trails on Bennachie, beginning at the Bennachie Centre, Chapel of Garioch. Trails vary from a gentle route though the woodland to demanding treks in open country.