Scotland’s First Minister hailed the latest addition to Scotland’s “breathtaking walking routes” on opening the new Fishwives Walk from Buckie to Keith.
Alex Salmond formally opened the 13-mile walk from Buckie Harbour to Keith over a route that was regularly used by local fishwives, who would carry 40lb creels of fish to market.
Once an integral part of the local fishing industry the route has now been reintroduced by the Buckie Regeneration Group in honour of the fishwives of Banffshire. It is now hoped that the route will become a popular choice for visitors to the region.
Chair of the regeneration group is local councillor Gordon McDonald, who 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 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.”
Speaking after taking the first steps along the route, the First Minister 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 was 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.”