We’re pleased to report that the landowner at Baddinsgill has very kindly moved the fence adjacent to the river near to the footbridge back a metre, creating a wider and safer path. Walkers using this route will have noted that the path has been getting increasingly narrow at that point due to riverbank erosion, and despite the efforts of Friends of the Pentlands who had done much work there, it was beginning to look like the path would eventually become impassible, maybe as soon as this winter. However, the movement of the fence has now ensured that the path will stay open for a few years yet!
This week, we’ve done some work on the path that leads north from Little Sparta near Dunsyre over to Boston Cottage on the A70. The burn that feeds the lochan in the Little Sparta Garden had become choked up and was flooding the track making it pretty impassable. It’s a bit outside our area, but worth doing as we know a lot of local folk visit Little Sparta or use the paths around Dunsyre.
A stroll round these magical gardens followed by a more energetic walk on the path would make a terrific day/half day out.
The path is now clear all the way along from Blyth Bridge to Scotstoun. Take care at the Scotstoun end, about 50m before the bridge – the river bank has fallen away here and the path is very narrow although still perfectly passable.
JOHN’S PATH – we’ve been out strimming John’s Path this weekend. It is now clear from Blyth Bridge almost along to the Scotstoun Bridge. However, it won’t stay that way for too long unless it gets used, so if anyone fancies a lovely riverside walk, please do get out and use the route, which will help keep the vegetation down. You can access it from Blyth Bridge by walking out of the village south alongside the A701, crossing Tarth Water using the new path and footbridge parallel to the road, and crossing over to the gate that marks the start of the walk.
Quite a bit of work has been done on route B1 in recent weeks:
- the very large puddles on the section of Roman Road between the top of the Loan and the Stoneypath track have been cleared by digging some new drains – the NTP team were out last week doing this.
- new fencing has been added along the section of track north of Stoneypath – this means that the tracks now fenced off on both sides all the way from Stoneypath up to the gate at the highest point on the track opposite Wakefield. This will keep livestock and walkers (and their dogs) separate
- Friends of the Pentlands have being doing some work to improve the eroded riverbank near to the footbridge at Baddinsgill – hopefully this will keep the path open for a while longer
The Allan Ramsay Hotel in Carlops will play host this coming weekend to a festival celebrating the lives of the two Allan Ramsays – the elder poet and this son the painter. This will be well worth a visit and walkers will be particularly interested in guided walks to take place over the weekend and a photographic exhibition recreating views of places featured in the ‘Gentle Shepherd’.
As those of you who have used in in the past few years will know, the old bridge over the North Esk at Amazondean has been in a poor state for some time. The landowners are currently undertaking a programme of work to restore it, and while this work is going on, it is dangerous to cross the bridge or access the site. The work should be completed by October, at which point we hope the route can be re-opened, but for the time being, we would recommend avoiding this route and from the point of closure on the Kitleyknowe side of river, following either A5 through Habbie’s Howe or the ‘short cut’ suggested in walk A2 across to Rogersrigg. We’ll keep you updated as to progress with the repairs.
This week, we’ve been out doing a bit of work on the path up to the Cauldstane Slap. In yesterday’s fine weather, a group of us, plus dogs, headed up to path to unblock drainpipes under the track and clear drainage trenches in the section north of Ravendean Burn (where the path dips down and back up again, with a footbridge over the burn at the bottom of the dip). There is still a fair bit more to do but we made a good start, and the work done should hopefully keep that section of the path in good condition over the next few winters.
We think we left a small mattock (like a pickaxe but with a flatter blade – that’s a large one in the foreground of the picture) up there, though. We’ll launch a rescue mission some time in the next couple of weeks, but if anyone finds it in the meantime, please let us know!