Valleys boost report expected soon

VIABILITY and advice on how to take forward projects to boost the economy of Yarrow and Ettrick Valleys near Selkirk is expected any time now.

The Ettrick and Yarrow Development Project evolved from two-year research to come up with ideas to revitalise the area.

And detailed reports on the seven favoured projects to come from that research are expected by the end of the year when development officer Julie Nock will be report back to the Ettrick and Yarrow Community Development Company.

Feasibility studies were carried out this summer on establishing a Minchmoor to Yarrowford cycle trail, an off-road cycle loop at Bowhill and a circular off-road walking route around St Mary’s Loch.

Julie said: “These routes have been designed to attract the growing number of cyclists and walkers into the valleys. Increased visitor numbers have the potential to help every local business.”

Other studies looked into setting up an hydroelectric scheme in upper Ettrick, marketing the valleys – looking at tourism packages, interpretation and literature to boost tourism – and reopening the old Bodesbeck road as a toll route from the head of the Ettrick Valley to the A708 to link with Moffat.

The pilot creative residency based at Ettrick School went ahead in the summer when Ayrshire poet Rab Wilson met visitors to the James Hogg Museum there, hosted writers’ workshops and created his own poetry inspired by the area.