Path work on Peffery Way between Dingwall and Strathpeffer taking big steps forward amid fresh appeal for donations to help hasten project
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WORK to create an all-abilities path linking two major Ross-shire communities has already proved its worth during the coronavirus lockdown crisis.
The Peffery Way will provide a safe off-road cycle and footpath between Dingwall and Strathpeffer.
Community activists who have worked to complete sections of the eagerly-anticipated link recently launched a fresh fundraising push to hit a £10,000 target that would allow key stretches to be completed.
Delighted that more than £4500 of that has been donated within weeks, they have been given fresh impetus by upbeat comments from supporters who have said how much completed sections of the route has meant to them during lockdown and beyond.
Ron McAulay, chairman of the Peffery Way Association (PWA), said: “We have received a lot of feedback from folk saying how valuable they have found the path during these difficult times for exercising, running and walking their dogs.
“The response to our appeal has been tremendous. However, we recognise that time is moving on and we need to get this work started before the weather takes a turn for the worse.
“So with the funds raised so far, we have decided to proceed and over the course of the next week or two we will see the stone and dust being brought onto site and then hopefully, depending on our fundraising appeal, installed on this section of the path.”
He added: “We are very grateful to everyone who has supported us, not only through this appeal, but also those who have helped us get to where we are today.
“That support has been incredible and is very much appreciated.”
One user said: “We have used the path regularly since lockdown in March and found it invaluable for our physical and mental health.”
Another commented: “Have just walked from the cemetery to the outskirts of Dingwall along the path and enjoyed it so much.
“It is really lovely and we are looking forward to cycling the whole length. Keep up the good work.”
The amount raised so far has allowed the PWA to make a start by bringing in the materials needed to surface the path.
The PWA was set up as a charity in 2015 and secured planning permission for the full length of the route in 2017.
The path largely follows the line of the old railway between Strathpeffer and Fodderty and then runs parallel to the operational railway between Fodderty and Dingwall.
The appeal is still open.
Anyone able and willing to donate to the effort can do so using the “Virgin Donate button” on the association’s website at www.pefferywayassociation.scot .