Earlston outdoor guide launched

Earlston Paths Group publication launch - pics to be marked courtesy of Curtis Welsh
Earlston Paths Group publication launch - pics to be marked courtesy of Curtis Welsh

THERE were monsoon-like conditions at the weekend as volunteers from Earlston Paths Group hosted a tented family event at the local rugby ground to mark the launch of their publication, Country Walks around Earlston and Redpath, writes Mark Entwistle.

Paths Group Secretary, Ian Gibb, said organisers were delighted to see so many hardy souls turn out on such a miserable day to support the group’s efforts.

Conditions underfoot were truly dreadful, but people seemed happy to be there and some adventurous souls even had a go at stilt walking.

The publication was formally launched by local Scottish Borders Councillor, John Paton-Day, who said: “To produce this book, the Earlston Paths Group have had to walk 250 miles, painstakingly noting every detail en route.

“Plus you have to add the signposting, grass-cutting and path maintenance that the group do throughout the year. All of this work is voluntary and unpaid, their dedication is stunning.”

Support funding for the booklet came from Scottish Natural Heritage.

The agency’s John O’ Keefe commented: “This is a great wee book. We were glad to be able to help with funding. There are lots of photos and maps that will inspire people to enjoy the countryside on their doorstep.  

“You can tell that  the volunteers from the Earlston Paths Group have spent a huge amount of time making sure they have provided as much detail as possible for readers – it’s a terrific resource that many people will find useful.”

Paths Group Chairman, Jack Jones added: “Landowners and land managers around our communities have played a significant part in enabling us to reach this stage and we hope to continue to work closely with them in the future.

“Over the past six years we have had support from other sectors of the community too numerous to mention, but their help is also greatly appreciated.

“Local printers Kelso Graphics produced the book and gave us tremendous support during the whole process. We are delighted with the end result and hope that people who purchase a copy will find it interesting and helpful.”

Country Walks around Earlston and Redpath is on sale at outlets throughout Earlston, as well as from the Flat Cat Gallery in Lauder and Masons of Melrose. It is priced £3 or through the Earlston Paths Group web site for £4, including post and packing.