My knowledge of Falkirk when I was growing up was pretty much limited to the occasional trip to Brockville and even that meant jumping off the train at Grahamston and immediately back on again when the match was finished.
If I knew anything else, it was that it was a town sandwiched between Edinburgh and Glasgow, at least that’s what my experience of the railway network had taught me.
Of course, now that I’m happily settled in the area, I’m more than able to extol the virtues of Callendar Park, the Wheel and, more recently, the Helix to anyone prepared to listen.
But what I enjoy even more than those manmade attractions is getting out a exploring what nature created all by itself.
I live barely a stone’s throw from the River Carron and thanks to the great work down by CATCA – Communities Along the Carron Association – I’ve been able to enjoy some great walks along its banks.
The road up past the reservoir into Fintry is also well worth exploring, while the Ochils provide a wonderful backdrop to many a trip.
Surprisingly, my encounters with wildlife have been relatively sparse, save for the dozens of dogs accompanied by their owners who also enjoy the network of paths.
In fact, it’s travelling on motorways that gives me most opportunity to see such creatures – including this week a duck and her ducklings attempting to negotiate the M9. I hope they made it!