WORK is almost complete on Angus Council’s new £229,000 foot and cyclepath north of Kinnaber, which was inspected by local councillor David May on Thursday.
The two-mile long path runs from Broomfield Road through the former airfield to link with the southern end of Northwater Viaduct. The route, which also includes part of the disused railway, caused controversy earlier this year when it was discovered it threatened a habitat for common lizards.
Despite their name, the reptiles are relatively rare in lowland Angus and the Friends of Angus Herpetofauna (FAH), backed by a team of volunteers, stepped in to find the slow-moving reptiles to move them to safer areas away from the diggers.
The path also skirts the west side of the fields immediately south of the viaduct to avoid conflict with farming activities and to maintain the privacy of Kinnaber House and the Gardener’s Cottage.
The council was criticised recently by the FAH which accused the authority of “a lack of commitment to conservation issues” after heaps of earth - spoil from the excavations - laid by the organisation as refuges for the lizards were moved to appease the landowner.
A council spokeswoman said the decision had been taken after consultation with an independent ecologist and that other areas would be developed as habitats.
During his visit, Councillor May said he is satisfied with the work carried out so far.
He said: “As a councillor I’m delighted that work on the footpath and cycleway is almost complete as I have campaigned for this since being elected, and it will soon be open to the public.
“I’m sure that this off-road cyclepath will be enjoyed by cyclists and walkers from both near and far for many years to come. I’m also pleased to see former councillor Terry Wood here today as he has been directly involved in pushing for this combined cycleway and footpath for a considerable time.”