Over £37,000 of path upgrade works to the Common Loan path in Auchterarder are complete and open for the public to enjoy.

The project along one of Auchterarder’s most scenic paths saw 360 m of path cleared and rebuilt, tree and hedge work, steps and handrail rebuilt, and the installation of a self-closing gate, a field gate, two benches, fencing above the burn, and signage.

Before and after photos of Common Loan path

Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) Communities Officer Bid Strachan has now project managed over £260,000 of path upgrades in Auchterarder this year with £240,000 of additional works on the Provost Walk to get underway soon.

PKCT Manager Morag Watson said of the project:

The Common Loan path offers up one of the most spectacular views in Auchterarder, so upgrading it to be more accessible for local residents and visitors to enjoy has been exciting.

We’d like to thank everyone for their patience in giving the new path a month to settle. Usage of the path just after works are completed could have damaged the new surface and invalidate all the hard work and financial cost put into it.

In addition to path work, we had two benches were installed along the route so that the stunning panoramas can be fully enjoyed.

Before and after photos of Common Loan path

The Common Loan upgrades were funded by the West Perthshire Recreational Facility.

Jane Courtney and Julia Howe, joint chairs of the Auchterarder Core Paths Working Group, said:

The volunteer Core Paths Group in Auchterarder will be maintaining all of the newly upgraded paths, including Common Loan, Johnny Mathews and Provost Walk. We welcome all local residents interested in lending a hand to join us.

To get in touch with the Auchterarder Core Paths Working Group, visit their Facebook page at https://en-gb.facebook.com/auchterardercorepaths/

Before and after photos of Common Loan path

Two new path users, John Hally of the Feus and George Lawrence of Auchterarder, were delighted with the improvements. John and George noted that investment in paths is such a valuable effort enabling more people to get outdoors and exercise.

John Hally of the Feus and George Lawrence of Auchterarder on the newly opened Common Loan path

Reflecting on the stunning view towards the Ochil Hills and of the history nearby, including the game of Quoits played near the top of the path up the late 1940s and the use of the historic route to move livestock to the railway station, the value of the path’s location was also highlighted. The collating of local historic reminiscences, illustrations and photographs is a task identified by the Auchterarder Core Paths Working Group as one in need of a champion and so if anyone is interested in leading or joining such a group, please contact them.

Common Loan path open for the public to enjoy © Julia Howe Common Loan path open for the public to enjoy © Julia Howe