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March 23, 2011

Mud, mud glorious mud!

For some, getting involved with their community and helping to improve the local quality of life means spending long hours in meetings, working through piles of paperwork and funding applications and then more meetings  – just ask Neilston!  But for many others, their contribution can be much more practical. In Newtyle in the west of Angus, many satisfying hours have been spent by villagers dredging 50 years of mud and silt to unblock drains and rebuild the local paths network

Katy Gordon, Blairgowrie Advertiser

“Much is being made these days by politicians of the importance of the Big Society and, if they mean by this citizens volunteering to make improvements, then we have experienced this in spades,” said volunteer Iain Buick.

“Not only our members, but also others in the community rolled up their sleeves and spent many happy hours on the Railway Loop Path dredging 50 years of mud and silt from the water channels, unblocking drainage pipes along the line of the path and in the burns on the hillside and inserting an additional pipe at a particularly vulnerable point.

“Still to be tackled is the replacement of the top surface of the path which in places has been washed away.  However, this path, despite the ravages of heavy rain, melting snow, and blocked drainage pipes, is now in perfectly good condition for walking.

“The damage to the Den Path happened more recently and is yet to be repaired. Here the trouble is the Mill Pond, to which much of the burn water is directed, has, over the years, silted up and a considerable volume of water has spilled over the retaining dykes and swept away sections of the Den Path.”

Mr Buick went on to say it may be some time before this path is completely restored at these points and there are wet sections of it further up the Den.

But for anyone with good wellingtons or waterproof boots it is well worth tackling this somewhat damaged Den Path leading on to Kinpurney Hill especially to see the cascading waterfalls along the burn’s length.

“If any readers would like to be a part of the Big Society and assist with the work of restoration of these paths then please let us know at our annual coffee morning,” Mr Buick continued.

“It will be held on Saturday, April 9, in Wharncliffe Hall, Church Street, Newtyle from 10am to 11.30am.

“We will be delighted to welcome members of walking groups who have enjoyed outings to our paths during the past few years.

“We plan to have a display of the photographs submitted for our proposed 2012 calendar including the 13 selected. Orders for the calendars can be made at the coffee morning.”