Bridge over troubling waters in Den

A new footbridge is to be built at the burn to replace the stepping stones currently used.
A new footbridge is to be built at the burn to replace the stepping stones currently used.
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A plan to build a new footbridge at Keil’s Den near Largo has been given a resounding thumbs-up.

Woodland Trust Scotland carried out a survey to gauge public support and the results show that around 95 per cent of nearly 100 people who responded backed the idea of a new crossing over Keil Burn, providing an alternative to negotiating often slippery stepping-stones.

The 45-acre ancient gorge woodland attracts an estimated 9000 visitors a year and the trust said a new bridge would open up the area to more visitors.

The proposal also has the support of Largo Area Community Council, which said the bridge would enable walkers to cross the burn when the water level was high and also make it possible to walk a longer circular route. The den has a network of paths covering around two miles.

Jill Aitken, from the Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “It’s great to find so much local support for the bridge. The new crossing will benefit older and less agile people, as well as their dogs, helping them to explore this beautiful wood.”

Funding has still to be sourced but it is hoped that if successful, the bridge would be in place by the end of next year.

In addition to upgrading work at the main entrances to the Den, the trust has been improving access to the existing bridge in the middle of the wood, with the path being surfaced with stone to counter muddy conditions.

The main tree species is ash and a trust spokesperson said this week that so far there had been no signs of ash dieback disease, which arrived in the UK in March 2012 and threatens to destroy the country’s ash trees.