Ribbon cut at Formartine and Buchan way

A 53-mile pathway from Aberdeen to Peterhead and Fraserburgh has been unveiled at an official ceremony.

Aberdeen Council Provost Jill Webster cut the ribbon for the Formartine and Buchan Way at Maud Station on Wednesday September 25.

Aberdeenshire Council Provost Jill Webster cut the ribbon for the Formartine and Buchan Way at Maud Station.

Aberdeenshire Council Provost Jill Webster cut the ribbon for the Formartine and Buchan Way at Maud Station.

Children from Maud Primary School planted flowers at the museum to mark the opening.

The Maud and Strichen stretch of pathway, completed last year, was the final stretch to be finished.

The path follows the route of a former railway line which linked up local communities with Aberdeen.

Although the tracks were lifted in the late 1970s, the new project has opened the line to walkers, joggers, cyclists, dog owners and horse riders.

Aberdeenshire Council Provost Jill Webster cut the ribbon for the Formartine and Buchan Way at Maud Station.

Aberdeenshire Council Provost Jill Webster cut the ribbon for the Formartine and Buchan Way at Maud Station.

Provost Webster said: “This is very much a community resource and it really emphasises that this is a facility for all ages and abilities to enjoy all year round.

“The 11 different sections will take you to a dozen towns and villages, all of which benefited from the railway in its heyday but which now benefit from a leisure pathway on their doorsteps.”

Organisations including Sustrans, Sports Council, Scottish National Heritage and most recently Aberdeenshire Council through the 100 day fund supported the development.

It is part of the wider Trek Aberdeenshire project which aims to make the North East a destination of choice for tourists from the interested in outdoor leisure activities.

Aberdeenshire Council Provost Jill Webster cut the ribbon for the Formartine and Buchan Way at Maud Station.

Aberdeenshire Council Provost Jill Webster cut the ribbon for the Formartine and Buchan Way at Maud Station.

The ceremony was hosted by Maud Station Museum where volunteers welcomed children and parents to the event.

One volunteer, Nigel Sawford, said: “It’s put to good use. Otherwise it would have been all bulldozed down and there would have been no walkway, no station.

“This is a centre and focal point for people who walk. There are picnic tables and people can leave their bikes here.”

The railway line was first built in 1861 and joined Dyce and Mintlaw. Branches from Maud to Peterhead and Maud to Fraserburgh were added before 1865.

Passengers services were stopped on the Buchan railway 100 hears later in 1965 and the tracks were finally lifted after freight services finished in 1979.

The Buchan Countryside Group reopened the route as a cycleway and path in 1987.

An open weekend will be held at Maud Railway Museum on Saturday October 5 and Sunday 6 from 12 noon to 4pm.