Community trail plans take a step in the direction

Borders Councillor Bill White at Galashiels Golf Club at Ladhope where tree planting will be carried out.
Borders Councillor Bill White at Galashiels Golf Club at Ladhope where tree planting will be carried out.
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Plans for a new network of community trails in Galashiels took a step forward this month thanks to a grant of almost £10,000.

The town’s community council has received £9,890 from the National Lottery’s Awards For All fund which will be used to fund a scoping study for a new network of recreation trails near Ladhope.

Potential for recreation trails on the site was flagged up after suggestions that the ground conditions and proximity to the Borders Railway made the area well suited for mountain biking and other sports.

The funding will pay for a specialist designer to plan and cost out a network of trails on the site which is already a popular destination for walkers.

And community councillor Bill White, who chaired a public meeting on the idea back in November 2016, is delighted things are now moving in the right direction.

“One of the main things it to get participation from the public,” he said. “There will need to be a lot of consultation going on and there was a lot of interest at the beginning but they all need to work together.

“This place, around Galashiels, could be just as good as what goes on at Glentress.

“I would urge anyone with an interest in walking, running, biking and biking to get their ideas in.”

The former Galashiels councillor has been promoting the idea ever since the Tweed Forum and Forestry Commission unveiled joint plans to create the 18 hectare woodland site off Ladhope Drive over a year ago.

Work, funded mainly by the Forestry Commission, on planting Scots pine and native trees on the common good land near to Galashiels Golf Club has since begun.

And with the funding now secured Mr White expects the consultation to being anytime after the next three weeks and has already appointed a specialist to scope out the entire area as part of a feasibility study.

He added: “By the back end of this year we will have something to go forward with.

“Galashiels is really beginning to look forward.”