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09/07/13 14:32

First Minister opens historic fishwives walk

Restoration of fishing heritage route to boost tourism.

First Minister Alex Salmond today officially opened the 13 mile fishwives walk from Buckie to Keith, which has been fully restored to boost tourism in the area.

The path was traditionally used by fishwives for their 26 mile round-trip walk from Buckie harbour to Keith. The women would often be carrying 40lb creels of fish and churns of milk on return.

The route which was once an integral part of the North East fishing industry, has been regenerated by the Buckie Regeneration Group.

The route, honours the fishwives of Banffshire and it’s hoped that it will now become a popular choice amongst many of Scotland’s walking routes.

Speaking during the official opening, Mr Salmond said:

“Scotland is renowned worldwide for its beautiful scenery and its breath-taking walking routes and I’m certain that this walk, which celebrates Banffshire’s fishing heritage, will become another popular choice amongst touring walkers.

“This historic route between Buckie and Keith tells an incredible tale of the local areas fishing history and the remarkable strength and endurance of the women who walked up to 26 miles a day along an arduous path, with their fully laden baskets, doing all they could to support their families and communities.

“I am delighted to officially open the fishwives path and I hope that visitors to the area will take this path and experience some of the fascinating beauty and history of the North East.”

Councillor Gordon McDonald who is chair of the Buckie Regeneration Group, said:

“The Fishwives' Walk is an incredible story when you consider the women who used to do this day, in, day out carrying 40lbs of fish to Newmill and Keith. It's something we find hard to comprehend in today's world; the strength these women must have had, both mental and physical, to cope with such back-breaking drudgery while no doubt raising families as well is really beyond our frame of reference.

“We're all delighted that the First Minister has agreed to be here today to officially open this history-laden route. However, it's not just about the past; the Fishwives' Walk is as much about the future than days gone by. By resurrecting the route, we hope to increase the footfall into Buckie and thus the money going through the tills of local businesses.

The Fishwives' Walk will raise Buckie's profile both at home and abroad.”

Notes to editors

Buckie Regeneration group was formed in 2008 by the Buckie Area Forum. The regeneration of the Fishwives' Walk is part of a rolling three year regeneration programme in the North East.