About the Dava Way Association
The Dava Way Association was formed in 1997 with the aim to create a walking and cycling path between Forres and Grantown-on-Spey along the trackbed of the old Highland Railway Line that had been closed by the Beeching cuts since 1965.
A key individual recognised as the “Father” of the Dava Way was Bruno Crawley and through his drive and enthusiasm he recruited others and the Association was formed. It had strong support from local communities and the early years were spent surveying the route, establishing relationships with the various large estates that now owned the trackbed and raising funds to purchase tools and materials.
Many individuals donated time and equipment. The track was slowly cleared of fallen trees and encroaching vegetation such as gorse and broom. Most of the cuttings were quagmires because the old railway drains had become blocked and much of the ongoing maintenance effort goes to keeping drains and ditches clear. A major donation was a new metal footbridge (Known as AJ’s Bridge after the Engineering Company that donated it) across the Altyre Burn where the original railway bridge had been removed. With this in place and the whole 24 miles passable, the Dava way was officially opened in 2005.
The Dava Way Association became a SCIO run by a board of Trustees voted in by the Members of the Association at their Annual Members Meetings. Currently there are 8 Trustees and approximately 25 Members. Many of these members are also volunteers who turn out for the planned monthly work parties and ad hoc work such as grass cutting and vegetation control. Many of the original volunteers are still active members of the DWA, though some, sadly, have passed away or left the area. The Association is actively looking to attract new members to ensure the Dava Way is still available as one of Scotlands Great Trails for the foreseeable future.
The Association has held events, particularly a biennial “Ghost Walk” to raise funds, but the majority of the money required to maintain and improve the Dava Way has come from donations and grants.
The Dava Way Association is a Scottish Charity and as such is required to publish certain documents. These are available from the links below as PDF documents: