Views wanted on proposed £20m walking and cycling trail finishing in Berwick

Views are wanted about a proposed long-distance walking and cycling trail which would finish in Berwick.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 11:09 am

The Tweed Forum and partners are seeking public views about the Destination Tweed project, a Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal project.

Costing an estimated £20 million, the project aims to upgrade and connect existing paths to create a 100-mile source-to-sea trail running through the Borders and into north Northumberland.

By the time of its completion in 2027, the trail is expected to become a jewel in the region’s tourism crown, while at the same time delivering multiple opportunities and benefits for local communities, enhancing the environment and encouraging investment and business growth.

The Royal Border Bridge over the River Tweed in Berwick.

In recent months, Tweed Forum has been contacting landowners along the proposed route to discuss preferred options.

It has now launched a series of initial consultations to gather the views of residents about how they currently use the river and existing nearby paths and about areas where they think improvements could be made.

The River Tweed is Special Area of Conservation famed for its salmon fishing, historic houses and castles, literary connections and wonderful natural environment.

The new Tweed trail will take in the great houses, histories, stories and landscapes to be found along the route.

The River Tweed from Scott's View, near Melrose.

It will include extensive and innovative interpretation, digital access and natural heritage conservation projects including woodland and pollinator habitat creation, river restoration, invasive non-native species control and the restoration of designed landscapes.

In addition, ambitious education, community and archaeology projects are planned, along with a programme of events, plus learning, skills, employment, training and business development opportunities.

Luke Fisher, Destination Tweed project manager, said: “The support of local communities and stakeholders is vital to the success of the Destination Tweed project, so we hope that residents will engage with us to share their unique views and insights.

"Their assistance and support will help us to create a truly great long-distance trail that the whole community can be both proud of and involved with, and which will help to reinvigorate the local economy, protect and enhance the river environment, satisfy the demand for outdoor recreation and be an exemplar for responsible, low carbon tourism.”

The Trail Access Survey can be accessed via the Destination Tweed page on Tweed Forum’s website, or through its social media pages.

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