Community effort to make beauty spot more accessible

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A pathway on Markinch Hill will be out of bounds until later this month as works take place to make the area more accessible.

The hill was gifted to the community by the Balfour family in the ’70s but over the years has become overgrown with rhododendrons and other invasive species.

Now the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership project ‘Markinch Community Hill’ aims to re-establish the hill as a recreational space for the people of Markinch and beyond.

It has been working in partnership with Markinch Environmental Action Group, Markinch Community Council and the village’s heritage group on key elements including clearing the invasive species and protecting specimen trees, which are over 200 years old.

As a result of the work, the bottom path on the hill will be closed until the third week in September.

Lorna Ross from the environmental action group, said the project which runs until March, will also create a panoramic viewpoint while signage explaining the site’s history, geology, geographical and environmental importance will be installed.

Once the project is complete a local group of volunteers will maintain the hill for future generations.

Ed Heather-Hayes, LLLP programme manager, said: “The Markinch Hill project was brought to the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership, by the Markinch Environmental Action Group in 2011.

“Once complete these works will restore this valuable and historic community resource, by removing invasive species, protecting specimen trees and improving public access.”

He added: “The project is also providing training opportunities for those trainees and volunteers involved in the project. Long term the site will be maintained by community volunteers. ’