The Heritage Paths Project is currently building a bridge which will create the first off-road walking route across Central Scotland
People will soon be able to walk straight through the centre of Scotland thanks to a grant of £22,800 from the Brown Forbes Memorial Fund (BFMF) and £4,600 from Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER. The new bridge over the Burnfoot Burn in the Endrick Valley, will be 11m long and 2m wide, and will link with existing paths to enable an off-road route between Kilsyth and Kippen.
The Heritage Paths Project is funded by ScotWays with support from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and has been working to research historic routes in the Campsie Fells area for the last two years with a view to improving access along them. The countryside of the Campsie Fells has, for a long time, been difficult to access, with few established routes to allow meaningful exploration of the area. The new Heritage Paths bridge will open up a route into – and through – the heart of the Campsies, encouraging more people to access the stunning natural beauty of the area.
The bridge will be built by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), which has a long track record with environmental infrastructure projects in its previous incarnation as the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. The bridge will be constructed by volunteers drawn from local path groups managed by TCV.
Neil Ramsay, our Heritage Paths Project Officer, said: “This is an incredibly exciting development in the project as this bridge is the last missing link. Existing routes such as the West Highland Way are so well known and well travelled and now we can offer people the chance of a new challenge, in new surroundings – to explore the Campsie Fells and its beautiful landscapes. The generous funding from both the Brown Forbes Memorial Fund and Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER is a great boost to the project and will allow the Scottish walking community as well as visitors to enjoy a new walking experience right across the heart of the country.”
The historic aspects of these paths are promoted through the Heritage Paths website, www.heritagepaths.co.uk, so that people travelling these routes today can learn about the way people used these routes in centuries gone by and can thus enjoy a richer and fuller experience. The new bridge is being built on the Spout of Ballochleam route which lies between the Fintry and Gargunnock Hills; more information and pictures can be found here: http://www.heritagepaths.co.uk/pathdetails.php?path=385.
Further press reports about the bridge:
- The building of the new bridge featured on Radio Scotland's Out Of Doors programme on Saturday 3rd November. If you'd like to listen to the broadcast, it's available on the BBC iPlayer until early on Saturday 10th November: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nph0m/Out_of_Doors_03_11_2012/. If you don't have time to listen to whole show, the bridge feature starts about 45 minutes in.
- BBC News website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-20186307.
- TCV Scotland blog: http://blogs.tcv.org.uk/tcv-scotland/2012/10/29/bridge-installation-in-the-fintry-hills/
- TCV Scotland blog update 3rd December: http://blogs.tcv.org.uk/tcv-scotland/2012/12/03/bridge-over-frozen-river/.