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Caithness News Bulletins July 2006
|July 2006||June 2006|
Dunnet Forest Link
A new multiuser path link has been created by the Environment Section of The Highland Council Planning and Development Service to link Dunnet Village, Dunnet Pavilion and Dunnet Forest in Caithness.
The new path is wide enough to cater for walkers, buggies and pushchairs, cyclists and horse riders allowing for both visitors and locals to use the various facilities of the beach, the village and the forest whilst avoiding walking on the road or road verge.
There have been a number of other benefits from the scheme. Sight lines have been improved for drivers exiting the Dunnet Pavilion car park and holiday makers using the Dunnet Bay Caravan site now have safer access between the beach and forest, providing options for outside activities in most weathers.
Highland Councillor John Green, a keen supporter of the project and a member of the Caithness Local Access Forum said: "This is a welcome link making a popular area for recreation and tourism safer and more accessible for everyone. It is already being well used and people are benefiting with the safer and easier access. The project is a prime example of providing the necessary infrastructure required to make the most of facilities in the local area."
Dunnet Forestry Trust have also been encouraging towards the improvements to the infrastructure linking the Forest with the beach and large car parking provision available at Dunnet Pavilion.
Will Menzies, Chairman of Dunnet Forestry Trust said: "The link further enhances the recreation and amenity value of the forest, which is something that the Trust has been building on over successive years within the forest itself. External links to the Pavilion car park and facilities such as the toilets, access onto the beach and the Countryside Ranger Service display operated by the Council, can only be beneficial to visitors and users of the forest."
He added: "The forest wishes to welcome further recreational use, and we have been aware of the interest in horse riding in the area. Unfortunately access for horse riders has been difficult as there is not sufficient space in the Forest Car Park for Horse boxes and the paths leading from the forest car park are not suitable for horses. This has been rectified by the link path between the Pavilion and the Forest and we will soon be announcing further access developments in the forest to benefit horse riders."
David Barclay, Access Officer for The Highland Council, believes that the new link path is a useful contribution to access in the area. He said: "The link path was first officially muted through the 'Thurso - Castletown - Dunnet Access Development Plan' in 2004. Since that time there has been a real interest in trying to bring elements of this plan to fruition. This scheme is a real common sense solution that appears to benefit everyone and it is a real pleasure to be able to get works such as this in place"
Mr Barclay was also keen to stress the support and guidance provided to the Scheme from The Highland Council's TEC Services. The works were undertaken by local contractors, A & W Sinclair of John O'Groats.
Horse riders are reminded that the forest car park or loading area is not suitable for horse boxes so riders should park their horse boxes at Dunnet Pavilion and use the new link path for access to the Forest.