Published: 29/03/2017 08:55 - Updated: 29/03/2017 09:39

Can we have a path please?

A LOCAL wheelchair user is calling for improved access to a Forres beauty spot.

Ken Shand pointing out wheelchair-user's view of the pond from Sanquhar Road.
Ken Shand pointing out wheelchair-user's view of the pond from Sanquhar Road.

Forres Community Council (FCC) health, veterans and disability representative, Ken Shand, asked his colleagues to investigate the possibility of a path being built closer to Sanquhar Pond.

FCC secretary Eleanor Hayward read out his request during February’s meeting at the Tolbooth:

“Cllr Shand is concerned that the grass bank between Sanquhar Road and the pond stops wheelchair-users from accessing the waterside. He wants to know if a path can be built between the waterfall and the fishing pier.”

Mr Shand confirmed: “The path from the car park towards the waterfall is OK – it’s the opposite side that’s the issue.

“The path around the pond is not wheelchair accessible because of the large bank.”

Sanquhar resident Brian McDonald is part of a group of volunteers who meet regularly to work on the area.

He said: “Any proposals for change must be approved by Moray Council and are usually subject to a risk assessment and considered for health and safety regulations.

“Direct contact with Moray Council might be desirable if Mr Shand wants more immediate action.”

The volunteers are currently removing dead, fallen or dangerous trees before they restore of revetments surrounding the loch, prior to widening and upgrading the pathways.

“One area that we are seeking to improve is the pathway leading from kennel cottage down to the wooden footbridge,” added Mr McDonald. “It is very steep and presents a hazard to walkers, wheelchair users and people pushing buggies.

“It’s a major project we hope will be supported by Bam Nuttal/Network Rail, but it’s unlikely to be tackled until late autumn/early winter at the earliest.”

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