Torphins Paths Group SCIO is a Registered Charity No. SC049120, which aims to improve and develop paths for walking and cycling in and around Torphins and to develop new paths connecting Torphins with other communities. The group was registered as a charity in March 2019 after bring originally formed as a community association in April 2017 following discussions initiated with Torphins Community Council by The Torphins Medical Practice to develop accessible attractive paths to facilitate health and fitness in the community. The discussions, aided by an Aberdeenshire Council Access Officer, an NHS Public Health Coordinator, and paths training organised by Marr Area Partnership and Paths for All, led to a decision to establish the Torphins Paths Group as a new independent organisation.
The Board of Trustees, which meets quarterly, is a partnership of members including community councillors, the local GP, walking and cycling interests, local business owner, a member of the Local Outdoor Access Forum, and includes an Aberdeenshire Councillor in an observer capacity. A management committee meets monthly to address day to day activity, and is supported by the local NHS Public Health Coordinator.
The Group initiated a community consultation with the support of Aberdeenshire Council, established the website and Facebook page to publicise and create community interaction on the project, and publicised the community consultation and membership opportunity through a public launch event.
Since launch we have funded, commissioned and completed a Technical Feasibility Study by Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, commenced landowner discussions, published a new leaflet "Walks around Torphins" and initiated plans for local path maintenance, including completing the renovation of several hundred metres of Core Path in Torphins Woods.
Our Business Plan detailing our objectives, operations and projects was adopted in March 2021
Paths current and future
The village of Torphins has a developed core path running along the dismantled railway line from the public park car park in the east to near Wester Beltie in the west. There is a core path around the Learney Wood, which is rough woodland trail and very wet in places. There is a public right of way from The Learney Hall running south to Waulkmill Bridge and Waulkmill Farm. There is a rough woodland path from William Street north across Monboddo Road and onwards through woodland to B993, and a developed path from Woodside Road at Monboddo Road to Craigmyle Lodge, which latter has been maintained by the Community Council.
Path development in Torphins should be focused on more accessibility for less able people, and perhaps a circular walk by connecting existing path sections, and quiet country roads, including signposting, as a compromise for an early solution
Longer term aspirations being pursued are multi use paths connecting from Torphins to the town of Banchory and to the village of Lumphanan. Proposed routes have been defined in the OATS feasibility study. These routes offer a connection for active travel, health and wellbeing, and environmental appreciation. The new Lumphanan Paths Group has plans to open up the connection to Tarland, thus making a new circular route possible from the Deeside Way in Banchory via Torphins, Lumphanan and Tarland to the Deeside Way in Aboyne.