|Last night's Kintyre Way presentation by Colin and Lesley from the Forestry Commission was very interesting. The proposed route of the roughly 90 mile walk starts at Tarbert and heads down Kintyre, criss-crossing the peninsula, and terminating at Dunaverty.|
|The majority of the walk is off-road with only short stretches returning to the roads where thought to be unavoidable. In the Carradale area the path joins the road at Brackley for a short distance before heading up onto and over Deer Hill, coming back down again in the vicinity of the Wellpark, then returning along the road through the village and along to Dippen.|
The meeting started at around 7pm with perhaps as many as 20 members of the public present. Colin Nossack and Lesley MacFadyen from the Forestry Commission at Lochgilphead, with additional input from Marcus representing the Kintyre Marketing Group, talked us through the proposed route with particular emphasis on the sections local to Carradale, Torrisdale and Saddell. The KMG intends to employ a dedicated ranger to monitor the path to ensure it does not fall into disrepair and to liase with the landowners across whose land it passes. This person would also be the first point of contact for anyone with an issue concerning the path.
Afterwards we were able to have a closer look at the maps of the route and discuss particular points. A good cross-section of people were present including people with local tourism-related businesses, private residents, and visiting holiday-makers.
A number of interesting and very valid points were raised during the evening including safety of walkers on the road stretches, the effects of increased road traffic, and availability of services along the route. Whilst generally constructive and well-received I think I detected a faint whiff of 'NIMBY' from certain quarters at times.
Personally, I think this walk can only be a good thing for Kintyre, coaxing additonal visitors down onto our remote part of the country and helping to keep businesses and services profitable not just for the holiday-makers but for residents as well.