Nature Trail and Bike skills area at Lochend

Many customers first question when they have settled in is ‘can we walk around the lake’ and due to geographical and ecological reasons that’s not possible, so we considered the notion of having a stroll beside water, taking in the wildlife and the idea of the nature trail was formed. Our plan is to build a trail beside a bit of the Goodie Water, an area un-accessed at Lochend for many years, and then through a bit of woodland and back round again. It should be accessible to all ages. Our local primary school eco-committee are keen to help and the local children will produce information, in varying forms, to help our visitors get the most out of the trail. Port of Menteith Primary School has already been awarded 3 eco-schools green flags, which shows not only a huge commitment from all involved but a great understanding of how fabulous the place we live is.

I then met with Sarah-Louise Slater of ‘Wild Biking Scotland’ and started discussing the need for a junior mountain bike proficiency test and our trail seem to be a great venue to teach kids (aged 5-8) to learn how to ride a mountain bike proficiently. This is a course that she will be able to teach to local and visiting kids but it is very much in the ‘ideas’ stage!

Then I met with Amanda Clayden from ‘Green Pea studios’ and she has offered to help the local primary kids with planting native water plants. As with many things like this, new ideas spike out of one, and so we will use the middle of the nature trail   as a beginners trails bike skills area, a biking discipline made famous by Danny Macaskill, who himself grew up in a small Scottish village. To help out with our new biking friendly area, a bike maintenance shed, equipped with tools, hoses, puncture repair kits and eco-oils will be built at the side of the games room. And we are looking at how bikes can be stored at each cabin.

Of course none of this would be possible without the financial assistance awarded to us by the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER and Stirling Council, in conjunction with STEP, for their sustainable tourism grant. We are very grateful for their awards.

Busy and exciting times ahead, just need the rain to stop now so we can start work…on the upside we know how high we must build our path!

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