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It's now easier than ever to be on trail of the wildcat in Newtonmore

By Gavin Musgrove

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Wildcat Trail volunteers Eric Dodds and Paul Allan by one of the new signs.
Wildcat Trail volunteers Eric Dodds and Paul Allan by one of the new signs.

There are finally real signs of improvements along a popular 10km walking route in Badenoch.

Newtonmore Community Woodland and Development Trust has just completed a long-running project to install brand new signage on the village’s Wildcat Trail.

New bollards, waymarker discs and fingerposts have replaced the former signs which were starting to look a little tired.

The non-profit making charity received funding assistance from Paths For All and local Pitmain Estate and help with supplying materials from local businesses Russwood, Mackintosh Manufacturing and Carrbridge-based Woodland Signs.

Trust volunteers have been working hard on the improvements to the orbital footpath for more than a year now.

Progress was severely hindered by the coronavirus pandemic and, at times, bad weather.

Amanda Frazer, Newtonmore Business Association chairwoman, told the Strathy: “The Wildcat Trail is a very popular attraction for visitors which are essential to the businesses in the village. This project has been a great success and will help walkers to easily find their way around the trail.”

The improvements have been completed just in time for the annual New Year’s Day walk round the trail.

This is a free for all activity and the trust hope that many folk will get out and about on the trail during the day in a socially distanced safe way.

The latest changes to the Covid rules have meant one change with plans to collect the trail quiz from the local cafés and the Post Office now scrapped.

Trust secretary Paul Allan confirmed: “The walk will go ahead as planned.

“The trail quiz is now going to be available online only from our website www.wildcatcentre.org or find us on Facebook."

The Wildcat Trail is a 10km orbital path round Newtonmore with magnificent views of the Cairngorms, as well as Monadhliath.

The path has varied terrain and runs through open moorland, native woodland and alongside three rivers, with waterfalls and a river gorge.

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