On trail of a suc­cess

Pad­dle pro­ject wins sup­port

The Galloway News - - DISTRICT NEWS - Stephen Nor­ris

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

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