Exciting step forward for Traquair path network

Catherine Maxwell Stuart with a map showing plans for the footpath network


Locals and visitors alike will soon be able to explore woodland around Traquair using a network of off-road paths following the Forestry Commission’s recent approval of a Woodland in and around Towns (WIAT) plan for major access improvements over the next two years. The plan will receive core funding of around £200,000.

WIAT’s work seeks to improve access for local communities to enjoy their woodlands, and promote education and understanding of nature, health & well-being and the economic benefits of woodlands.  

Following a community consultation exercise held in November 2016 by the Traquair House Charitable Trust, there was enthusiastic support from the general public who came to hear about plans for an off-road footpath to Traquair House, and a path network around the Traquair woodlands. Much of the support centred on creating a path network that would take people off the busy public road (particularly children and dog walkers), and the development of a multi-use, off-road link to Traquair.

Over the past 18 months, the management plan has been developed taking the many comments on board to produce an exciting combination of new access, interpretation and woodland management, all of which was included in the plan submitted to the Forestry Commission. Preparatory work has also taken place over the last year in the woodlands through the approved Forest Design Plan with the felling and thinning of several areas of woodland to ensure that work on the paths can begin immediately.

The path project will include a raised decking pathway linking the pavement from Innerleithen to the mountain bike trails car park; 3,800 metres of good quality footpaths, including links to Traquair village and Traquair House; a high-level link to the Southern Upland Way, with stunning views over the Tweed Valley; plus a range of themed interpretation boards, picnic benches and perch benches that will make more than 30 hectares of woodland accessible to the public. 

Work is planned to start in June and will take about 18 months to complete – with access routes opened as they are completed.

“We are absolutely delighted that the path network is taking shape at last,” commented Traquair’s Catherine Maxwell Stuart. “It has been a long held desire to make Traquair more accessible by foot and particularly for local people to take advantage of the woodlands around Traquair which have previously been difficult to access.”

Further information on developments with the path network will be available at www.traquair.co.uk



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