Riders urged to help secure future access

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Think of the Southern Upland Way and it conjures up fantastic images of the rolling Lammermuir Hills and the picturesque Berwickshire coastline.

Or how about the West Highland Way and the magnificent views of Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Ben Nevis.

Who hasn’t dreamt of riding at least part or our very own Southern Upland Way, which runs coast to coast from the Irish Sea in Galloway across to the North Sea at Cockburnspath in Berwickshire or St Cuthbert’s Way which runs through the Borders and north Northumberland or another of Scotland’s 26 long distance Great Trails?

The problem is finding out which bits are accessible with a horse.

Now The British Horse Society Scotland has received funding from Scottish Natural Heritage to help riders determine which of the eight most popular Scotland’s Great Trails (SGTs), or which sections of them, are suitable for horses, and then make this information readily available.

This is where Scotland’s riders come in.

The charity is actively looking for a number volunteers to help survey and report on both the Southern Upland Way and ther St Cuthbert’s Way as well as the Speyside Way, Cateran Trail, Forth and Clyde Canal, Dava Way, Moray Coastal Trailand West Highland Way.

Anyone who thinks they may be able to help is invited to attend a training session to learn more about what’s involved.

Whether you’re prepared to survey one mile, 10 or 20, it doesn’t matter.

No experience is necessary – full training will be provided.

The sessions have been organised fairly close to the routes but each will follow the same format so riders can attend whichever is easiest for them – whether they fancy volunteering for part of a route on their doorstep, or a route further away from their home patch.

Each session will run from 7-9pm and there are two to be held in the Borders this month.

They are at Traquair Arms, Innerleithen, on Wednesday, January 15, and at the Buccleuch Arms, St Boswells, on Thursday, January 16.

For further information, or if riders would like to volunteer but can’t get to a training session, contact Vyv Wood-Gee on 01576 300485, 07711 307980 or email vyv.wood-gee@virgin.net.