Walking his way to a prestigious award

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A former maths teacher (72) from Aberdeenshire is in with a chance of winning a prestigious award for his work in transforming the local area.

Scotland’s walking charity, Paths for All, will soon be hosting its annual Volunteer Awards to honour individuals who go the extra mile for their community – and David Culshaw from Banchory has been nominated this year.

Paths for All distributes a number of accolades to individuals and groups who have done exceptional work in bringing their communities together to get walking, encourage active travel and transform their local spaces.

David is the Project Coordinator for Banchory Paths Association (BPA) and has been put forward by Ken Henderson, Funding Officer at BPA, for his dedication to upgrading and maintaining local pathways.

Ken said: “David has been in his role for several years and oversees projects which cover both routine maintenance and inspection, as well as path upgrades.

“As a former Principal Teacher of Mathematics, David has formidable people skills which he uses to great effect in organising the work of the group. He sets up regular work day teams made up of BPA’s volunteers to carry out routine path care activities such as vegetation cut-back, drain clearance and surface repairs.

“BPA is currently fundraising for its largest ever path upgrade project to create 650m of accessible woodland paths.

“David has personally raised almost £2,500 towards the cost, having undertaken a sponsored bike tour this summer of more than 650 miles around the cycle network of Scotland, taking in all five major cities.”

David said: “It’s an honour to be nominated for Community Path Volunteer of the Year at this year’s awards – it’s such a great feeling to know that your efforts are making a difference to your community.

“In the last few years, we have carried out several path upgrades to sections of Banchory’s network, two of which I have lead on. It has taken us roughly three years to complete these, so both have been major projects for the team.

“I’m just back from a charity cycle which should hopefully help raise funds for our next project – our largest ever path upgrade.

“We get such as sense of achievement when we complete tasks such as these, as we know the enjoyment pathways around the area can bring to people of all ages and abilities.

“Banchory is such a beautiful area and everyone should be able to get out and enjoy its scenic routes.”