Bags of Help for many paths well travelled Many places throughout Scotland have become more accessible to the public thanks to investment from Bags of Help. Since early 2017 many miles of pathways have opened routes to discovery in and around cities, towns, villages and in the countryside encouraging people to get outdoors and enjoy the environment. All ages and abilities have been catered for with projects organised by a diverse range of groups including residents’ associations, community councils and development trusts, walking and sports groups, over 50’s, parent councils, schools and nurseries. Footpaths, cycleways, wheelchair and buggy access, including accessible toilets, have been created. Upgrades and maintenance have also been undertaken to help all in the community benefit from sports clubs, community buildings and gardens, parks, rural environments and wildlife. Aims of the pathway and access awardees are to link areas, increase awareness of active travel, open gateways to and learning in the environment. Projects tackled improvements for safety, fitness and access for all alongside installations of signage and artworks adding value to the routes. Interpretive paths offer opportunities to learn about nature, the arts and heritage and some of the pathways have been in unusual locations, such as through the graveyard Glasgow Necropolis. Below are some sample access projects and links to case studies on the website: In the city of Glasgow the Reidvale Adventure Play Association transformed a large unused area into a nature discovery and exploration space in Dennistoun. In Lochwinnoch the Renfrewshire Council created a wheelchair accessible path and platform to the pond dipping area to encourage the study of wildlife. Wiston Lodge in Lanark launched an educational programme, Path of the Little People, for children in need where they built an interpretive path to learn about nature with music and history. The Tabert Castle Trust, Argyll resurfaced the main access route for safety and opening access for the less-able and young mothers. The Banchory Paths Association upgraded the footpath link between the many facilities in and around Burnett Park and the town. And finally, if you weren’t exhausted enough contemplating all these activities, think also about how schools have used Bags of Help awards to create all weather routes for their Daily Mile programmes! Our case studies for Lynn Glen Restoration Project, Pitscurry Red Squirrel Trail, and The Peddling Pool show what can be done to help get folk out and about in their local communities. Want to make your environment easier to access or add value to your community routes? Awards of £500 - £2,000 are available by applying online to bring benefit to your local community and environment. Need help with your application or just want to bounce ideas of us – find your local Community Enabler.