A Highland community has unveiled ambitious plans for a new bridge linking a town with routes to prime walking areas of the Cairngorms.
Braemar Community, which acts on behalf of villagers in the Aberdeenshire village, wants to build a suspension bridge over the River Dee north of the settlement.
The bridge, which would carry cyclists and walkers, would allow more direct access to mountains such as Beinn a’Bhuird and Ben Avon.
The company, which took over the running of Braemar Castle five years ago on behalf of the local community, said the bridge would also open up low level circular routes towards Mar Lodge to the west and the Keiloch to the east.
Design company Moxon Architects have produced plans for the bridge which echo Victorian footbridges spanning the upper Dee, including those at Garbh Alt Sheil, Pollhollick and Cambus O’May.
A spokesperson for Braemar Community said: “There has been a history of river crossings at Braemar, ranging from fords and ferries, to a temporary war-time bridge and there has long been a desire on the part of the community and outdoor enthusiasts from further afield for a permanent fixed link across the Dee.
“This new crossing will serve the local community, providing additional walking, cycling and horse-riding routes and it is hoped it also will contribute to the local tourism economy by attracting extra visitors to Braemar.”
Dave Evans of Braemar Community, which is leading the project on behalf of the village said: “The creation of a bridge will make Braemar an alternative stopping place for those wishing to travel further into the Cairngorms.
“It will reduce car journeys to outlying car parks, particularly those at the Linn of Dee, Linn of Quoich and the Keiloch and will alleviate traffic on what can be congested roads during the peak season.”
The spokesperson added: “Initial discussions on the location and design of the bridge with the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage, adjoining landowners and the local community have been overwhelmingly positive and Braemar Community Ltd will shortly submit a formal planning application for the bridge.”