A new link path connecting the village of Blainslie to Lauder has been officially opened, providing a safer alternative route to walking along the main road.
The path has been funded by the Council, following a feasibility study in 2013 which identified the need to improve off road links between the Lauderdale communities.
The project has also benefited from the generosity of Edward Maitland-Carew of Lauderdale Estate, who kindly allowed the path to be constructed through one of his fields.
The path was officially opened this week by Catriona Moore and Dylan Theedan Parry, who are Lauder Primary School’s junior road safety officers, and Mr Maitland-Carew, who is the son of The Honourable Gerald Maitland-Carew, the Lord Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale.
Councillor Gordon Edgar, Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure at SBC, said “The feasibility study two years ago found that the A68 trunk road which runs through or alongside the communities proved a significant barrier for pedestrians and cyclists.
“It is hoped the flat nature of the new path, lack of traffic, better weather and stunning Lauderdale scenery will make it one of the most popular in the Borders.”
Lauder dry stone dyker John Young was thanked for his alterations and repair work as part of the project, while Scottish Borders Council’s own Neighbourhoods team carried out the path construction and fencing works.
The funding came directly from the Council’s Cycling, Walking, and Safer Streets budget.
Fencing has been erected to ensure livestock are kept away from path users, with walkers and cyclists asked to use the bin on the route for their litter and dog owners reminded to pick up after their pet.
Edward Maitland-Carew, owner of Lauderdale Estate, said: “We are delighted to be participating in the Helping It Happen initiative which will hopefully bring more recognition about what can be achieved through landownership.
“The Blainslie Link was an exciting opportunity to help the communities of Blainslie and Lauder with a project that had long been identified as a way to improve walking and cycle links between the communities.
“I have seen first-hand how much it has been used, especially by young people, in the opening months of operation. The path has been delivered through partnership and co-operation and I hope it can demonstrate that private landowners do deliver for their local communities whilst also providing an example to other estates of what can be achieved.”