Dundee path brought back to life

A green pathway near a Dundee industrial estate has been upgraded by a volunteer-led community project who received one of our awards.

Dighty Connect, part of East Dundee Environmental Network (EDEN), was awarded a Paths for All Active Travel grant to improve greenspaces and paths in the East Dundee area.

The grant, supported by Transport Scotland, has helped restore a 500m stretch of path along Dighty Burn.

Untouched for 15 years, the path was in a bad state of repair. Yet, the volunteers at Dighty Connect took only four days to complete most of the renovations.

Ann Lolley, Project Co-ordinator at Dighty Connect, said:

During lockdown the path route alongside the burn has been a lifeline for many locals as it has given them a place to access the outdoors and nature.
Our group works to transform areas along the Dighty Burn for people and nature, within parts of Dundee that are often neglected. We run many projects to actively engage people living close by in the paths and greenspaces as well as enhancing the walking environment for residents.
For 15 years, we’ve been committed to working with the local community to identify and deliver projects and initiatives, ranging from path and entrance improvements, environmental education programmes, citizen science and practical conservation work, to publishing books, leaflets and maps. 
We look to get the community involved on every step of the way; to make sure we work on projects in areas that mean something to local people. Our main aim is to bring local people’s ideas to life.

The path work was completed by a group of 10 volunteers who brought a host of different skills, attributes and resources, with the wider community helping out where they could with litter picking and planting wild flowers.

New projects are already in the works, with the community group liaising with bosses at the 2000-plus employee industrial estate which is adjacent to the burn.
The hope is that employees will be encouraged to use the path on their commute to work – as well as people living in the east of Dundee and the surrounding areas. 

The regenerated path is also central to a project being supported by our Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund targeting local schools and employers to encourage active commutes.

Ann added: “Paths for All has been amazing to work with and its continuous support has helped make the area into a local green and blue space to enjoy. 
“There is lot of wildlife in the area, we have spotted otters, kingfishers and dippers, and most recently we spotted Beaver damage on trees alongside the repaired path. 
“The upgraded path really builds on the community spirit as we have noticed more people using it - especially workers walking and cycling to work as well as a quiet place to sit during their lunch break. It is also used by dog walkers and people enjoying the simple but important pleasure of just going for a walk in nature.”

Last year Paths for All awarded £65,459 worth of grants to 33 groups across Scotland who have transformed neglected parts of their local path networks.

Our Community Paths and Community Paths Active Travel Grants are supported by NatureScot, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government.