- The Leader Water Heritage Project 2017 - 2019
In summer of 2017, after securing several grants, we began "The Leader Water Heritage Project", finally completing this demanding project in early 2019. Work included major surface improvements to sections of the Diamond Jubilee Path as well as on the Leader Water Path.
We designed an information panel at Leaderfoot Viewpoint telling the story of all the bridges built there over time and published a supporting leaflet "Bridges Across Time". Almost 2000 copies have been used already, sharing our wonderful history all over the world,
A large scale map featuring visitor attractions and walking routes in the Earlston and Melrose networks and long distance paths was next. It is now housed in a covered shelter close to the bridges: both were launched in May 2018 by The Duke of Roxburghe.
Later we worked with the local school to design and install two Nature information panels beside the Leader Water, between the Sorrowlessfield Bridge and Leaderfoot, to create points of interest for walkers, especially younger people. A donation meant we bought Mag Posts to examine small finds under a magnifier.
The final element is our leaflet "Earlston and The Leader Water, Carolside to The Tweed" telling the story of the rich, varied natural, built and cultural heritage from Earlston to Leaderfoot, where our river flows into the Tweed. Our aim is to stimulate interest in our local area and encourage visitors to stay that bit longer in and around Earlston, boosting our local economy. It was published in March 2019 and has already become a very popular memento.
Our volunteers don't just build and maintain footpaths, spread surface material, clear drains, cut grass and clear leaves: promotion of our paths network and local communities are key to us and The Leader Water Heritage Project has played a major part. None of the project was possible without the support of funding partners: Fallago Environment Fund, Scottish Borders Council, Earlston and Melrose Community Councils and of course, ourselves.