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Summer working and the crash test dummie!

The information panels, installed at the Leaderfoot viewpoint in May, are proving to be highly popular with visitors to the area. A leaflet we produced to provide more

detailed information about the bridges is flying out of the little plastic dispenser; over 700 have been picked up to date. We hope that the publicity given to local attractionsm including our own footpath network, helps boost the local economy in some small way.

With that part of our Leader Water Heritage Project completed, we turned our attention to the path improvement work south of Redpath. A low timber edge to form a lip to retain a new surface was installed and were finally able to start laying the hard-core in the path at the end of July.

Moving materials out of the woods and down a banking presented a challenge. To overcome this problem, we came up with the idea of building a chute to slide the hardcore down and into the wheelbarrow.

Of course, it had to be tested and there was only one 'crash test dummy' for the job. Delighted to say that he survived the experience and we have promised him that he can have the chute for his back garden.

The whole job will take many more weeks to complete; extra helping hands in the shape of Jog Earlston have eased the burden.

Irene Jones, who had been keeping an eye on our finances as Treasurer for several years, stood down from that role at our AGM. She had diligently kept our books and provided regular updates for our meetings and it was with regret

that we accepted her decision. All things change and we welcomed Roy Todd as treasurer, the purse strings are tightening!

The normal round of grass cutting and keeping paths in good condition continued over the summer the only excitement was when we strimmed over a bee's nest. Despite a swift exit, antiseptic cream was still being applied a week later to several stings!

Another element of our main project is the installation of two nature information panels, one on either side of the Leader Water. Earlston Primary School pupils were involved as 'nature detectives' and the group enjoyed a field trip to Drygrange Community Woodland supported by our friends at Borders Forest Trust.

Over the summer the two colourful and informative panels have been manufactured by The Osprey Co. at Coldstream and are now in place on the footpaths. Nearby we have also installed two 'mag posts' which enable you to place small objects such as seeds, leaves, etc under a fixed magnifying glass and have a closer look. We hope that the panels and mag posts will provide points of interest for people of all ages using our walking routes.

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