Stirling and Falkirk ramblers celebrate 20th anniversary

Stirling, Falkirk & District Ramblers celebrated their 20th Anniversary on the same route as their inaugural walk
Stirling, Falkirk & District Ramblers celebrated their 20th Anniversary on the same route as their inaugural walk

A ramblers group has proved it can walk the walk after 20 years as it steps forward into the future with new local routes to explore.

Stirling, Falkirk & District Ramblers celebrated its 20th anniversary at the end of last month with members the exact same route of the inaugural walk.

They trekked on the scenic Clackmannanshire core paths along the River Devon from Dollar to Tillicoultry, a seven-mile circular, enjoying the same beautiful views of wild countryside as those who founded the group back in 1995.

For anyone who is interested the starting point was map reference NS 963980.

Treasurer Margaret Cook (74) has been a rambler with the group for seven years.

She said: “It was a great idea to recreate the first walk the group ever did although there is only person still in the group who was on that first walk.

“Even though we got some hail stones on the day we still managed to have a wee glass of bubbly and some cake to celebrate.

“I only really took up walking regularly when I retired. The walks vary quite a lot and I didn’t realise there were different grades of walks, but I’m much better now than when I started.

“We’ve done a few Munros and long distance walks, we usually do a long on once a year. There are easier and difficult ones but I think I’m somewhere in between.

“It’s a great way to occupy your time and it’s very social. It’s a brilliant way to stay fit and healthy too.”

The Falkirk Wheel played host to the launch of Scotland’s 150th Medal Route walking hub on Friday – a legacy of the Commonwealth Games created by Ramblers Scotland.

The bronze, silver and gold routes are three short circular walks than can last either 15, 30 or 60 minutes in urban and rural areas with an aim of encouraging people to get outside walking. There are now 150 across the country.

Medal Routes project officer Rob Burns of Ramblers Scotland said: “The routes have been designed to take a short amount of time so a walk can be built into a working day as well as during leisure time.

“The project is now a leading health initiative and is proving to be helping people walk more often.

“The Falkirk Wheel joins the Helix Park and Forth Valley Royal hospital with Medal Route walks available in the Falkirk area and Ramblers Scotland would like to thank Falkirk Council’s ASSET Services, Scottish Canals and Scottish Waterways for their input into the creation of the Falkirk Wheel Medal Routes.

The council’s culture, leisure and tourism spokesman Councillor Adrian Mahoney said: “Walking is a great way to get out, get active and to explore the local environment.

“We’re happy to support Medal Routes walks in the local area and encourage people to use them.”

For more information on the Medal Routes visit www.ramblers.org.uk/medal
routes.

To contact Stirling, Falkirk & District Ramblers call Muriel Clark on (01324) 556108 or e-mail clarkm2@virginmedia.com.