Walkers, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts are enjoying a new link between Ellon and Dyce after the completion of a major paths project.
It follows the official opening of a new stretch of pathway using parts of the former railway line on the Buchan and Formartine Way.
Sections totalling five miles along a 13-mile part of the route, which runs a total of 53 miles to Peterhead, had fallen into disrepair and, as part of Energetica, were resurfaced to provide a multi-use recreation route.
Energetica, Aberdeen City and Shire’s ambitious low carbon, energy community, has been working on creating a network of pathways linking business and residential areas in the corridor to offer sustainable transport options.
Energetica is an ambitious public-private project, designed to position the Aberdeen City and Shire as a global energy hub. It aims to create a concentration of energy technology companies, housing and leisure facilities along a 30-mile corridor from Aberdeen to Peterhead.
Developing a network of paths for cyclists and walkers is key to the plan and newly-appointed environmental planner Matthew Watt will oversee and manage the development of the pathways.
The track retains its unbound country style surface suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders of varying ability.
Work has been designed to improve the recreation and leisure value of the route, along with the natural heritage value as a wildlife corridor.
Mr Watt said: “The energy business proposition of Energetica will be made more compelling by the unique quality of life environment that will be created. Opening up and giving better access to the coastal and inland scenery is a large part of showcasing the best natural and built environment anywhere in the world.
“We want people and companies to be attracted to Energetica because it will offer a great place in which to live, work and play.
“The leisure and tourism aspect is therefore critical and today’s opening of the upgraded path from Ellon to Dyce is a great step towards getting the right, sustainable infrastructure in place.”
Mr Watt added: “We hope the improvements to the route between Ellon and Dyce will encourage more people to consider leaving the car at home and use their bike to get to work.
“This goes hand in hand with one of the goals of Energetica, which is all about creating a low carbon development corridor.”
The 13-mile section begins at Dyce, close to Aberdeen Airport, and passes Udny Station before crossing the Ythan River as it reaches Ellon.
It was officially opened in time for this week’s National Bike Week and some of the first people to use the upgraded track were the runners and cyclists in last Saturday’s 40-mile Granite Challenge.