2015 Year In Review
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Fife Coast & Countryside Trust 2015 Review
We want everyone to experience Fife’s great outdoors and to inspire and encourage, here is a look back over 2015 to many of the projects we carried out to make Fife's Outdoors the number 1 ranked area in Scotland for visiting the outdoors.
- Aberdour Silver Sands beach was recognised as a four star visitor attraction by Visit Scotland, which means that the beach is now officially one of Scotland’s premier tourist destinations.
- Seaside Awards – Fourteen of our beaches were given seaside awards and the stunning shoreline Ruby Bay at Elie also received the highly-coveted Blue Flag accolade, the only beach in Scotland to receive the ultimate recognition. Our Coastal Team work hard to ensure that our beaches achieve the highest possible standards for visitors.
- Lochore Meadows Country Park has had a year of improvements after the Trust took over the running of the site in 2014. We were able to carry out an extensive modernisation programme to improve the visitor experience. With over 5000 visitors over their September Open Weekend, the improvements have had a really positive impact.
- Seafield Beach in Kirkcaldy underwent a major improvement programme which saw access roads and parking areas upgraded, brand-new steps and ramps put in place and a beautiful wildflower meadow created.
- Fife runner Jim Taylor tackled an A to Z of marathons, one along the Great Wall in China. Jim trained along Fife’s Coastal Path, and enjoyed the beautiful setting so much that he has decided to make the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust his chosen charity. We are very grateful to Jim for his very generous donation.
- The Fife Pilgrim Way was launched in 2015. The project to develop a 70 mile long distance walking route through the heart of Fife will link together many examples of the Kingdom’s medieval and pilgrim heritage. With an HLF fund of £406,400 awarded to develop the route, our new Project Officer will be taking on the development phase of the programme in 2016. It will allow walkers to retrace the steps of medieval pilgrims through the heart of Fife, passing landmarks including the Inverkeithing Hospitium, Markinch Church, Ceres and the Waterless Way, and ending at St Andrews Cathedral.
- Footpath improvements across our sites at Balcurvie, Glen Vale and Calais Muir in Dunfermline have seen great benefits for the local community.
- FCCT welcomed a new Chair when Stephen Carter OBE replaced Robert Balfour, who after twelve years’ service on the Board including eight as Chairman has chosen to step down following his appointment as Lord Lieutenant of Fife.
- The Loo of the Year Awards saw 8 of the public conveniences we manage along the Fife coast receiving Silver, Platinum or Gold Award Status in these awards. Huge congratulations to our HR & Facilities team, who with extremely limited resources, achieve excellent standards time and again. Well done to Valerie, Linda and all the team!
- Scottish Thistle Awards 2015 saw our CEO Amanda McFarlane winning the Regional Ambassador accolade. Working as part of a dedicated team, Amanda was thrilled that she and the Trust have been granted this honour.
- The Newburgh Arch was opened by Jim Leishman MBE, Provost of Fife following a joint project by the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust and Babcock International. The arch, which has been created to mark one entrance to the Fife Coastal Path, complements the existing arch at the Kincardine end of the path which officially opened twelve months ago. The new feature includes images reflecting the local environment and was designed by Fife Coast and Countryside Trust’s Ranger and professional illustrator, Dallas Seawright.
- Pathhead Sands Kirkcaldy re-opened to vehicles in November after an extensive works programme involving the reinstatement of eroded dunes, improved car parking and the implementation of landscaped areas and green spaces. The next phase of the works will be to re-route the Fife Coastal Path through the site and add interpretation panels to the area.
- Volunteering was again a vital part of our work in 2015 with over 6,000 volunteer hours achieved this year and over 64 individuals and 40 groups of community and corporate volunteers helping us to achieve our goals.
Ask you can see, we have had a busy and successful 2015 and have big plans for the next 12 months. With thanks to all our Directors, staff, partners and volunteers, as well as community groups and individuals who work so hard to make Fife’s outdoors such a great place to visit and experience.
See you out there in 2016!