Esk Trails Project
Tourism Boost for Midlothian
British Horse Society in Lothian, in partnership with the European
Community Tyne Esk Leader + 2000 -2006 Programme and Scottish Natural
Heritage, is to promote over 50 miles of equestrian trails in Midlothian
in a bid to improve access to the countryside and boost the local
economy by encouraging equestrian tourism.
project, which is due to be completed by October 2005, will cost
a total of £26k. Just under £12k is to be awarded from
Tyne Esk Leader + and a similar sum from Scottish Natural Heritage.
The balance will be met by payments in kind and from voluntary contributions
from BHS Scotland, BHS Lothian and the Midlothian Riders Access
horse trails will comprise four circular routes, open to cyclists
and walkers as well, each between 10 to 15 miles long, exploring
a wide variety of glorious Midlothian countryside and taking in
sites of historic and natural interest.
Briggs, Scottish Natural Heritages area manager for the Lothians,
is pleased to be part of the group developing the trails: With
the Scottish Outdoor Access Code due to be published later this
year, we are helping to extend routes available for walkers, riders
and cyclists. We hope these trails will be liked and used by people
in Midlothian and visitors.
trail is to be based on the Esk Valley, another in the countryside
between Rosewell and Carrington; the third will be a circular route
from Vogrie with the fourth encompassing higher country near Gladhouse
Reservoir. Waymarked in accordance with Midlothian Council access
policy and Scotways, with areas for trailer and lorry parking identified,
the trails can be linked to provide all day rides with many variations
in length and route available. The routes will be promoted by The
British Horse Society (BHS) Lothian using accompanying comprehensive
and colourful brochure and maps.
officer Mrs Pip Peat of The BHS Lothian committee said: This
is an innovative scheme which will benefit both local riders and
visitors. There are no dedicated equestrian trails in Midlothian
so now riders, cyclists and walkers will feel welcome to enjoy the
landscape, history and culture.
people bring their own horses or hire from local establishments,
we have identified horse friendly accommodation and
stopping off points so undoubtedly this project will bring economic
benefit to the area.
would like to thank the Midlothian Council access team and local
land owners and farmers for their enthusiasm and involvement in
making this positive initiative possible.
Pacey, Chair, Tyne/Esk Leader+ Local Action Group added; "Tyne/Esk
Leader+ Local Action Group will follow with keen interest the progress
of this excellent project, which should provide much enhanced access
to the Midlothian countryside, not just for equestrian enthusiasts
but also for walkers and cyclists. This example of inclusivity deserves
encouragement. With all concerned pulling together, the economic
benefits, too, should be appreciable.