The Langlee Woodland Nature Trail is now open to the public following a year-long project run by Nature Unlimited, a locally-based social enterprise.
The trail, which includes new designs by Langlee Primary and Galashiels Academy pupils, utilises native wood and other materials in inventive and fun ways, while adults from various employability programmes also worked on improving the woodland.
The work was funded by Tesco Bags for Help, who donated £8,000 after a public vote.
“What we’ve ended up with,” said Jan Barr, project coordinator at Nature Unlimited, “is a family-friendly space which we hope will encourage more people to connect with nature and take advantage of this free natural resource which is on their doorstep.”
This seems to be working, as initially the team would never see anyone while working on the trail. As the months went on, more people began to use the woodland.
Geraldine Keita, project leader, was delighted to report that one passer-by, upon coming across the team working in the woods, said: “Ah, you’re the ones that are doing all this – we thought it was the night fairies.”
As the team packed up after the opening day they met a family sitting in the story-telling area.
“We come here every week,” they said, “And use it as our gang hut.”
Around 50 children and parents attended the opening, taking part in activities such as making whistles, a bug hunt, den building and creating natural art. Local actor Scott Noble was also there as a green man, telling stories about “trees that once were giants”.
The trail, which starts at the top of Hawthorn Road, at the bus terminal, features a bug hotel, a fairy village, story-telling area, a giant xylophone, a hide for listening to the birds and more. Nature Unlimited runs an employability group who will be maintaining the site and adding to it over the coming years.
SBC Countryside Rangers Service has also supported the project and will be erecting a sign at the entrance.
To download a map of the trail, please go to http://www.natureunlimited.scot/wild-things/langlee-nature- trail