Whin Roadie


Building owner/client:

Meldrum & Bourtie Heritage Society

Architect or lead designer:

Doug Smith

Local Authority Area:


Nominating Body:

Meldrum & Boutrie Heritage Society

Project Description

The Whin Roadie project is the creation of a walking path along the site of the main Aberdeen to Banff road beside Oldmeldrum. This road used to be the main road to Banff but it was replaced in the 19th century by a new, wider, more substantial, road several hundred yards away. The old road became overgrown over the years and largely forgotten about by the local community. The owner of the land the road is on gifted the land to the Heritage Society, on the understanding that the Heritage Society would clear the path, make it wheelchair accessible, and build a viewpoint – creating a facility that the community could use. The Heritage Society agreed to take this project on as it would create a good facility for the community, creating a walk of approximately a kilometre that all members of the community could use, and helped fulfil the Heritage Society’s aim of providing education to the local community on the history of the area. The path runs up a small hill and the substantial viewpoint at the top provides outstanding views of the Garioch valley and surrounding hills. The work to create the path involved clearing the route of the path of overgrown vegetation, digging out the weeds and soil, laying hardcore and levelling the path to ensure it allowed wheelchair access. After the main path was built a local biologist advised on the indigenous plants that should be planted to control weeds and provided colour through much of the year. Several stone benches have been built along the path to the viewpoint, and the viewpoint itself is substantial and has a panoramic picture of the view with the various hills and other notable features marked on it. The project has been funded by Aberdeenshire Council and “Making Meldrum Better”, a local community group. The person who has done most to realise this project is Doug Smith, who planned the path, managed the limited amount of external help he had, and did most of the work on it. The project has taken almost two years to complete and cost approximately £20,000 – although the true cost would be much higher if all the unpaid volunteer hours were included.

Supporting Statement

The Heritage Society has nominated this project as we feel it is a significant addition to the amenities in the village, and as a way of recognising the achievements of the people who have worked on it – especially Doug Smith, the architect and project manager behind it all. The purpose of the Heritage Society is to advance the education of the general public in the local history of the community. As the Whin Roadie used to be the main road north out of Oldmeldrum to Banff, in fact the main Aberdeen road to Banff, it was in keeping with the its purpose for the Heritage Society to create a path where the road was and put explanatory panels by the viewpoint to give the history of the road to users of the path. A Time Capsule will be installed in a cairn by the viewpoint this summer, this will allow the local community to be involved in deciding what to put in the capsule. A dedication event will be held in the summer which will help ensure the wider local community is aware of the path and its historic background.