Selkirk folk to benefit from easier access to their own wee gem of a hill

SELKIRK Hill is “a wee gem” which remains undiscovered by many townspeople, writes Andrew Keddie.

That is the view of the hill management committee, an offshoot of the town’s community council, which met last Wednesday evening and agreed to embark on an ambitious plan to make the area more accessible.

Members unanimously endorsed the creation of an easy access route which would begin and end at Buxton car park.

The pathway, which would remain grassed at most points, will be suitable for wheelchair users and people pushing buggies and prams.

“The project was first mooted a year ago, but delayed because of changes in the membership of the committee,” said its chairman Gordon Edgar.

He told us: “Selkirk Hill is a wee gem: a place of solitude but also one of magnificent flora and, of course, stunning views.

“Making it more accessible to the people of the town and visitors is precisely why this group was set up in 1995. Since then, the Borders’ reliance on tourism has grown and we are much more aware of the concept of social inclusion, so we felt now was the time to get things moving and really maximise the use of the Hill which remains undiscovered, even by many townsfolk.”

Mr Edgar said the first step was to survey the area and identify what engineering works would be required along the proposed route which would go from the car park out towards the skating pond and loop west through Primrose Glen, continuing south of the shelter to the gate at the Pot Loch, before heading eastwards back to the car park.

He explained: “We have set ourselves a tentative target of having the easy access route ready for the summer of 2012 and carrying out the necessary works in the better weather next year. The project has yet to be costed and funding needs to be investigated, but we will be looking to source labour locally, possibly through the Community Service, or just willing volunteers who realise the great community benefit that this will bring.”