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Forth to Farne Walk close to completion

Cranshaw Community Walk

Funding from an East Lothian wind farm has enabled the community of Cranshaws to fulfil their dream of enhancing the environmental diversity of the area and providing a new local amenity for locals and visitors.

Residents of the Village wanted to create a community walk and, after securing backing from local landowners, needed to raise almost £40,000 to create the route.

Fortunately, that money was quickly provided by the Lammermuir Community Fund, which annually receives £50,000 from Community Windpower’s Aikengall Community Wind Farms.

Months of clearing work, planting new trees and installing fencing followed, with the Cranshaws Community Walk recently opened for use.

Dave Lochhead, one of originators of the walk alongside Neil Anderson, said: “We’re delighted to now have this fantastic amenity in Cranshaws and can’t thank everyone involved enough for making this dream become a reality.

“This includes my fellow volunteers, Neil and Sheila Pattullo, local landowners, members of Lammermuir Community Fund and owners of Aikengall Community Wind Farm, Community Windpower.

“It really has been a team effort and something Cranshaws and the wider community can be rightly proud of.

“We want Cranshaws Community Walk to be something people from far and wide can come along to and enjoy, taking in the various landscapes and experience an area that has been created with the environment and wildlife habitats in mind.

“While the walk is now open, this is merely the first phase. We want local folk and visitors to take a stroll, give feedback for the completion of this stage and provide ideas for further development.

“Already suggestions for a fairy house trail and a maze to encourage children to enjoy this outdoor experience have been put forward.”

The circular walk is approximately 4km in length, taking about 1.5 hours to complete and includes picnic sites and viewpoints.

“One of these is a community orchard, named after local landowner Professor Penny, which contains a variety of young fruit trees,” added Dave.

“The walk itself follows the course of the Whiteadder river. Car parks are provided at the junction of the Harehead Road and at the foot of ‘Post Brae’; both are starting points for the walk.

“After navigating alongside the river, Cranshaws Community Walk meanders through woodland and steers walkers across open countryside, providing many opportunities to enjoy the biodiversity of the area.

“We hope the next phase of the walk will include enabling wheelchair access along a beautiful riverside path leading to the community orchard and a picnic site by the river.

“Also, a series of wildlife interpretation boards are planned to encourage a wider range of visitors to enjoy the area.”

It is hoped the walk will act as a place for people to exercise and enjoy during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, which operates the Aikengall Community Wind Farms in East Lothian, said: “The community walk in Cranshaws is a fantastic environment for people to explore and be at one with nature.

“It provides the area with a richly biodiverse amenity, which we hope will be used by many people in the future.

“We’re really pleased to see how the community benefit fund from the Aikengall Community Wind Farms have been used by Lammermuir Community Fund, and I hope to be able to enjoy the walk in the near future.”

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