Dozens of people gathered at Jubilee Park in Auchterarder on Wednesday, 3 July to celebrate the £945,000 Provost Walk project.

Members of the local community were joined by the various funders, elected representatives and Perth & Kinross Council staff to witness the ribbon cutting for the latest Phase 3 of the project that stretches from Coalbore Well westwards to the A824, and then enjoyed a stroll along the newly upgraded path followed by refreshments in the park.

The £440k Phase 3 path project saw the route upgraded from a virtually unpassable muddy and uneven track to a modern, multi-user route suitable for walkers, cyclists and wheelchairs.

Bid Strachan, Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust’s Communities Officer, who managed the Provost Walk path upgrade project, commented:

It was really heart-warming to see so many people at the official opening event of this the third phase of path upgrade. We have worked with engineers TP&E and the local community paths group on the whole project since 2015 for the benefit of the community, so to see them out in force celebrating the occasion has made it all so special.

With huge thanks to Grace Martin of Sustrans Scotland and to the Auchterarder Core Paths Working Group for cutting the ribbon and to landowner Perth and Kinross Council and the Auchterarder Common Good Fund Committee, to engineers TP&E, to contractors AB Gairns and to all of the funders of this phase of the Provost Walk upgrade project.

In total, the whole £945,000 Provost Walk project was delivered in three stages and comprised path upgrade works that stretch almost 2,500m from Ruthven Street all the way to the A824, with several links paths to residential areas and the town. 

Along the length of the newly upgraded route, works included the installation of solar lighting, benches, upgraded handrail and steps at Broadwood View, people and cyclist counters, extensive tree work and drainage, a new bridge, and more accessible sloped gradients up to the A824 on the western end and up to the Public Park from Coalbore Well.

The Auchterarder Core Paths Working Group joint chairs Jane Courtney and Julia Howe quote:

The provost walk was only a few years ago a narrow muddy, wet track enjoyed only by a few hard core dog walkers. Now it is a smooth wide multi-use path loved by many residents of Auchterarder whether fit and able runners, wheelchairs users/ pushchairs/prams, cyclists and drawing walkers from much further afield!  The upgraded path offers a new pleasant route to visit the cemetery or to reach the golf course or station. 

It is also a lighter & brighter more welcoming area due to the removal of a few overhanging trees & the addition of solar powered lights allowing cyclists and runners 24 hour access. 

The scouts and the Community School of Auchterarder (P 6 both classes) have been involved in litterpicking, removal of Himalyan Balsalm, seed sowing of wild flowers on a bare bank & planting wild flowers and  trees. As well as making bug hotels for hibernating insects.

The experience has made them realise that they need to look after their special local environment and a few have already volunteered to help the paths maintenance group over the school holidays. 

We meet on the first Wednesday of the month, 10 am to 1 pm. We are an extremely small group sometimes only 4 or 5, and we need more help from the community. We supply gloves and tools and no experience is necessary, just enthusiasm. You don’t have to be fit!

We supply refreshments and above all it is enjoyable.  

The Auchterarder Core Paths Working Group is a subgroup of the Auchterarder Community Sports & Recreation group: [email protected]

Transport Scotland through Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links grant programme; Auchterarder Community Sports and Recreation; The Gannochy Trust; Auchterarder & District Community Trust; Auchterarder Community Facilities Fund which comprises the three developers Muir Homes, Stewart Milne Homes and Robertson Homes; the Allan King Charitable Trust; Avondale Environmental as part of the NPL Group through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund; and donations from members of the public. It also receives ongoing support from the Auchterarder Core Paths Working Group.