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June 16th 1989

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Royal Engineers do the Acharn Den Walk

It is a fine, warm, windy day when the V.I.P.’s gather in the wee village of Acharn on Lochtayside. They are met by assorted military personnel and six Land Rovers and are then transported a mile up Acharn Den by a steep rocky farm road, stopping at last beside the Hermitage.

This passage through the rock was actually occupied some seventy years ago and a gey dark, damp dwelling place it must have been Today it is dry, though still dark, but as you move through it there is, literally, light at the end of the tunnel and you then find yourself in the viewing platform looking across to the Falls of Acharn. Then back to the road again and more climbing until at last you come to the bridge across the burn. It is lined with soldiers all standing stiffly to attention and in the middle of the bridge there is tied a red ribbon. The V.I.P. party is grouped carefully round the Provost and when the photographers are finally happy with their composition, Provost Alec Murray ceremoniously cuts the ribbon. The cameras click and Acharn Den Walk has been officially opened.

It is a pleasant piece of hype, but it marks what has been a considerable achievement. For a number of years Perth and Kinross Council has co-operated with the Army authorities under a scheme known as Military Aid to Civilian Communities to work for environmental improvements within the District. The Council provides the plans and materials while the army provides the labour and the expertise. The credit for the Acharn Den Walk must go to the 202 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers from Manchester. One hundred men living under canvas at Aberfeldy completed their task in twelve days. This included the construction of the bridge spanning the Acharn Burn at a point some two hundred feet above the waters of the burn. It is an impressive feat of construction, but don’t just read about it, go and see it for yourself.

In 1996 the path has been continued to link up with the path known as the Queen’s Walk which takes you all the way to Kenmore.

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