South of Scotland MSP, Claudia Beamish, visited the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve in New Lanark to open a newly completed boardwalk on the banks of the River Clyde.
Replacing the original structure, which had carried many hundreds of thousands of visitors from New Lanark to Corra Linn (the largest of the spectacular Falls of Clyde), this boardwalk uses recycled plastic posts in its construction, which will last many years longer than the timber legs of the original.
The new boardwalk has been funded by the South Lanarkshire LEADER Programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership.
Speaking following the official opening, Claudia Beamish MSP said: “The Falls of Clyde is an area of outstanding natural beauty that every year attracts thousands of people to the area.
“I am delighted that the Scottish Wildlife Trust has been able to invest in a new boardwalk to help visitors to continue to enjoy this stunning wildlife reserve.
“Ensuring that facilities are modern is a key part of delivering continued success and the boardwalk is a prime example of how this can be achieved using recycled materials that are sensitive to the environment and local wildlife.
“Over the years, the Falls of Clyde has been a family favourite of ours for days out and I hope that the new boardwalk encourages even more people to explore the area.”
The Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve Manager for the South of Scotland, Stephen Blow, said: “The route brings visitors right up to the river’s edge and gives them the chance to see kingfisher, otter and goosander.
“Many visitors consider this a highlight of the walk on the way to the spectacular waterfalls upstream.
“The Scottish Wildlife Trust is pleased that funds from LEADER and Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership have made this possible and hope that the boardwalk will prove a draw for many hundreds of thousands more visitors in the years to come.
“As part of the Clyde Valley National Nature Reserve, connecting people with wildlife is a significant part of our work at the Falls of Clyde.
“The Scottish Wildlife Trust wants people to get closer to nature and this boardwalk will give people a great chance to enjoy our Falls of Clyde reserve, making the experience even better than before.”
Chair of both the South Lanarkshire Rural and Landscape Partnerships, Councillor Eileen Logan, said: “The Falls of Clyde are one of the must-see South Lanarkshire attractions and we are delighted to be able to support the improvements to the boardwalk with both LEADER and Heritage Lottery funding through the Landscape Partnership.”