Much is being made these days by politicians of the importance of the ‘Big Society’.
And if this means citizens volunteering to make local community improvements then this has been experienced in ‘spades’ in the village of Newtyle.
Not playing cards, but volunteers with digging spades, shovels and pick-axes!
Members of the Newtyle Paths Network Group have been joined by others in the community in spending many hours on the Railway Loop Path.
They have been dredging 50 years of mud and silt from the water channels, unblocking drainage pipes both along the line of the path and in the burns on the hill side and inserting an additional pipe at a particularly vulnerable point.
“Still to be tackled is the replacement of the top surface of the path which, in places, has been washed away,” explains a Newtyle Paths Network Group spokesperson.
However, this path, despite the ravages of heavy rain, melting snow and blocked drainage pipes, is now in perfectly good condition for walking.
“The damage to the Den Path happened more recently and is yet to be repaired.
“Here, the trouble is the Mill Pond, to which much of the burn water is directed. It has, over the years, silted up and a considerable volume of water has spilled over the retaining dykes and swept away sections of the Den Path.
“It may be some time before this path is completely restored at these points and there are wet sections of it further up the Den.
“But if you have good waterproof boots it is well worth tackling this somewhat damaged Den Path leading on to Kinpurney Hill especially to see the cascading waterfalls along the burn’s length.
“If any readers would like to be a part of the ‘Big Society’ and assist with the work of restoration of these paths then please let us know.”
The paths network group is staging its annual coffee morning on Saturday, April 9 in the Wharncliffe Hall, Church Street, Newtyle from 10 am to 11.30 am.
“We will be delighted to welcome members of walking groups who have enjoyed outings to our paths during the past few years,” continues the spokesperson.
“We plan to have a display of the photographs submitted for our proposed 2012 calendar, including the thirteen selected.
“Orders for the calendars can be made at the coffee morning. If you would like to submit photographs for the calendar there is still time to do so before the deadline of Friday, March 18.
“Photos should be A4 size or 8x6 or 7x5 and preferably on a computer disc. They should be of the village or taken of or from the network of paths.
“Those cascading waterfalls would make a striking photograph!”