Callendar Woods opened up to families and disabled

Dennis Shovlin, Sonya McLay, community ranger Gordon Harper and George Williamson

Dennis Shovlin, Sonya McLay, community ranger Gordon Harper and George Williamson

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A wander in the woods will be a smoother experience thanks to a £90,000 cash investment.

Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) has completed a major upgrade to paths in Callendar Wood making them more accessible for wheelchair users and families with prams, buggies and bikes.

The upgrade involved widening paths, reducing steep incline and gradients, creating resting places and laying smoother surfaces on a two-mile stretch of trail that runs through the woodland and passes Callendar House.

And local organisations, including Falkirk Disability Access and Assessment Panel and the Parkrun jogging group, have welcomed the work.

Panel secretary Sonia McLay said: “Two of our members who are wheelchair users were very impressed, particularly with the new resting areas and adjusted gradients.

“It has certainly made it easier for disabled people to use the paths and enjoy the countryside, and we hope to see more of this type of work around the area.

“We are delighted that FCS has taken our recommendations on board and we’re keen to work with them and other groups in the future.”

FCS invested in the improvements using results of a survey from the Fieldfare Trust.

Trust director Andy Johnson said: “Callendar Wood scored quite positively on our audit and did not require a huge number of changes to improve accessibility. But often it is small things that have a disproportionate impact on some users.”