Accessible Path Survey Results

Thank you to everyone that shared and completed our recent survey about the proposed accessible path plans.  There were 82 responses. 

1. Does the current condition (muddy/uneven ground/gradient) of this route prevent you from using it? 

No 42 
Sometimes 30 
Yes 10 

We asked for any other comments about the current path that people wished to add.  The majority of these were noting the muddy condition and drainage issues.  Paths getting muddier from increased use and people choosing wider route options have further eroded areas over time.  Heavy machinery has affected the area too when the necessary felling was required following the Statutory Plant Health Notice (SPHN) from Scottish Forestry. 

Many did respond that although the condition does not stop them personally from using the route they could understand how it would stop others.  It is not accessible to all in its current condition.  This is the key reason why CCDT wishes to create this accessible path route so that everyone has an opportunity to explore our community woodland, enjoy the area and the benefits that it brings. 

3. Do you support the proposed plan for a short section of the path to be a boardwalk with small bridge crossing over the burn?  Our plan would also allow space for those who wish to splash or jump across the burn as they currently do.  Count 
Yes 75 

Additional comments following this question were positively showing support for the boardwalk alongside space for those who wished to still use stepping stones or splash across the burn.  Nice to see young and old mentioned here too!  Concern was also raised on ensuring that any boardwalk had an anti-slip surface.  Another comment was to ‘focus on durable rather than appearance’ and also concern that this boardwalk may be at risk of vandalism.  Assessing the burn for wildlife and making this an information/educational point for all within our woodland could be a consideration too. 

5. Do you support the accessible path plan for Gillies Hill Community Woodland? Count 
Yes 76 

This question shows 93% of those that completed the survey supported it.  Reasons in support were about how increased use by all people of all ages and not limiting access to only those who can currently use the woods.  Some commented that it would allow their friends to join them who currently cannot. 

There were those that do not support the accessible path plan and those reasons were: 

That the woodland should be left natural; opposed to any man-made additions eg path, boardwalk or bridge; encouraging litter by increased use of the woods through the path. 

There were some in support but with reservations which they noted such as if recycled tyre materials used would affect our woodland and wildife; concern about increased anti-social behaviour and litter; and what future maintenance would be required.  It was noted that the accessible path surface should be a better standard than the path adjacent to Polmaise Road as some of that has washed away in heavy rain now leaving a poor walking surface. 

We do need to consider all feedback given and to ensure that a solution that is put in place to create an accessible path can alleviate concerns raised. 

Feedback from Mark Hill, Headteacher of Cambusbarron Primary School: 

The changes to the paths planned will further support the learners at Cambusbarron Primary and Nursery to access the woods in all weathers. Outdoor learning, and engaging with our local community is vitally important to support the health and wellbeing of our young people. As a school we are blessed to have the Cambusbarron Community Development Trust working tirelessly to improve access and opportunities for our school and local community. Their work helps to remove barriers to accessing wider parts of our local woodland. This further enables Teachers to plan and deliver cross curricular learning that engages our young people. This also supports us to teach our children how to look after and take pride in their local community. 

Quote from Jane Bain, Director of Cambusbarron Village Nursery (CVN): 

CVN is delighted to support the significant work of the Trust in developing an accessible path through the woodland. While our learners enjoy the “off road” experience of splashing in the puddles, jumping in the burn and tramping through the mud with all the benefits to children’s learning and development these opportunities provide, we absolutely appreciate that, for others, these are significant hazards that prevent them from accessing and enjoying the woods as we do. We understand the benefits to physical and mental health that being in nature provides and therefore welcome CCDT’s efforts to facilitate and improve access for all to the woodland. 

This survey has shown there is majority support for this accessible path and we will look to progress this for our community as a whole. 

We will now feed all this information back to our landscape consultants, Raeburn Farquhar Bowen, and discuss next steps in detailed planning ahead of a planning permission application.   As we do not have planning permission, funding secured or contractors in place we cannot commit a timeframe to when this accessible path will be created but we are taking next steps in progressing this project. We will continue to post updates on our website as progress is made. 

If you would like to get more involved with the accessible path planning please do get in touch.  If you left your details when completing the survey we’ll be in touch next week. 

If you are reading this update and didn’t have the opportunity to complete the survey please feel free to email your comments regarding the accessible path plans in to and your comments will be added to our community consultation responses.