On trail of a success
Paddle project wins support
A project to link Castle Douglas with a paddle sports trail has won political backing.
South of Scotland MSP Emma Harper hopes the plan for Carlingwark Lane will be a splash hit.
The scheme to open the former industrial canal as a watersports highway was unveiled in March
It envisages a safe, allability route between Carlingwark Loch and the Dee. The main Ken-Dee trail would be a big draw for paddlers and would include white- knuckle sport using hydro-power.
Local kayaker Alex Lumsden briefed Ms Harper on the proposal during a canoe trip to Threave last week.
Council outdoor activity officer Mr Lumsden said: “We’re trying to open a paddle trail in the area.
“It would be for all types of paddle sports including kayaking, canoeing and paddle-boarding.
“As we progress it’s about establishing clear and safe access points to the water.
“To realise the full potential of the project we’d then be looking to work with the hydro scheme to maximise white-water use on these controlled rivers.
“This would gives us a genuine venue to develop along the lines of the successful 7Stanes bike trails.”
Ms Harper said: “We are ideally placed in southwest Scotland to market ourselves to the Central Belt and northern England.
“Both are only a relatively short car journey away and folk can come and enjoy what we have to offer here.
“We are a part of Scotland that can become an international hotspot for adventure tourism.”
Paddle power Alex Lumsden with MSP Emma Harper