Plans for a footbridge across the River Dee below Braemar have come to the fore again.
A design for the bridge has been unveiled and a formal planning application is expected to be submitted very soon.
The bridge – if given the go-ahead – will be the only crossing between the Invercauld Bridge east of Braemar and the bridge at Mar Lodge, and would make a slight short-cut for those heading up Gleann Slugain, avoiding the car parking at Keiloch and the walk in past Invercauld House.
The design has been released by Moxon Architects with Flint & Neill structural engineers for Braemar Community Ltd.
It’s a new take on the Victorian suspension bridges seen in the area, but the 85m bridge will have a distinctly modern look and will be capable of taking horses as well as foot travellers.
In a typical piece of PR gobbledygook, Moxon state that the new bridge will be suspended within a cable net ‘valley’ of inclined hangers which will provide a unique spatial experience and imbue a high degree of transparency when viewed in elevation.
They go further, to say: “The ‘raking V’ pylons at either end of the bridge define the geometry of the suspension net, marking the abutments of the bridge and signalling the structure as a gateway to the wilderness area.”
Flannel aside, however, the new bridge – should it be successful – will be a welcome addition to the established routes into the Cairngorms, not least to the village of Braemar itself. I’ve never liked the walk in past Invercauld when going up Slugain – far too much like slinking past the laird’s hoose – and have even been known to go over the top of Carn a Drochaide to get to a certain wee doss.
For more information ab9out the bridge click here. The location is described in a pdf here.
Deer fences: goodbye and hello
For anyone who hasn’t been in to the Mar Lodge Estate for a while, I should perhaps also have noted in the latter part of last year that the area has been considerably improved by the removal of many deer fences.
At the Luibeg ford and bridge area, all up Glen Derry, and between the Linn of Dee car park and the Black Bridge, long-standing deer fences have all been removed.
The removal – a huge improvement – has been made possible by the removal of deer from the equation. I do hope that, once a new generation of trees has established itself there will be an equilibrium sought so that an appropriate number of deer can be allowed to re-establish themselves: they are, after all, as much a part of the highlands as the trees.
However it’s not all good news. It seems the NTS has caved in to constant pressure from neighbouring overstocked estates who claim ‘their’ deer are being ‘sucked in’ to Mar Lodge Estate. Instead of toughing it out, it seems the estate has capitulated to the extent of erecting a massive deer fence which, if it doesn’t go all around the estate, is at least of considerable length. You have to go through it as you cross the boardwalk just out of the Linn of Dee car park, and you can see it stretching all along the southern flank of Feith na Sgor above Glen Dee.
It’s a shame to see this happen, but I like to think it’s two steps forward and one back rather than the other way round.