General Information

Aberdeenshire Core Paths Plan

The Aberdeenshire Core Paths Plan has been formally adopted. Maps of the Core Paths are available to view. For further details regarding Aberdeenshire Core Paths please contact

Since 1997, Aberdeenshire Council's Outdoors Access staff have worked with landowners and communities to improve the rural paths network in many parts of Aberdeenshire.

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 placed various new duties on local authorities, one of which was to prepare a Core Paths Plan. The Plan should be "sufficient for the purpose of giving the public reasonable access throughout their area".

How have Core Paths been selected?

There have been two rounds of public consultation that have helped inform the development of the Aberdeenshire Core Paths Plan

Potarch BridgeThe first consultation was in 2006 when 18 workshops were held across Aberdeenshire and provided an opportunity for communities, land managers and access user groups to identify potential routes in and around local areas.

The second consultation was the publication of the informal consultative draft of the Plan. This consultation ran between June and September 2008 and following consideration of the responses received, the Council made further modifications to the Plan.

The Council collated the information obtained from the 2006 and 2008 consultations and used this to draw up the draft Plan for final consultation.

This consultation was the final part of the statutory process and made provision for objections to the suitability and sufficiency of the draft Plan.

Following the final consultation, Council Officers tried to resolve any objections to the Plan but because some objections could not be resolved, the Plan was submitted to the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) on the instruction of the Scottish Government.

The DPEA undertook an inquiry to determine if outstanding objections should be upheld or not.

The DPEA submitted their recommendations in a report to the Scottish Government who instructed Aberdeenshire Council to comply with the DPEA recommendations and formally adopt the Aberdeenshire Core Paths Plan.

What are Core Paths?

Core Paths aim to

  • Provide the basic framework of paths to meet communities' needs
  • Minimise any potential conflict with land management
  • Be well sign posted, well maintained and welcoming.

If you would like further information about the Aberdeenshire Core Paths Plan please contact the Environment Team.


Or by telephone:

  • Banff and Buchan, Buchan and Formartine Areas 01467 539919
  • Garioch, Marr and Kincardine and Mearns Areas 01467 535681