A new stretch of upgraded towpath running alongside the Forth & Clyde Canal has now been completed.
The path, which extends to over three kilometres, connects the communities of Twechar and Auchindavie, and forms part of the 35-mile towpath stretching the length of the canal.
The new £247,000 towpath was made possible by funding from charity Sustrans, East Dunbartonshire Council and WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Limited).
The upgrade project, which was co-ordinated by Scottish Canals and Scottish Waterways Trust, is part of a wider programme of more than £4 million of towpath improvements, led by Scottish Canals across the canal network in Scotland.
Richard Millar, Director at Scottish Canals, said: “The towpaths of the Forth & Clyde Canal are busier than ever and play a vital role at the heart of the communities of Twechar and Auchinstarry.
“The routes are increasingly significant destinations for leisure, exercise and commuting, and this project has opened up access to them by providing a safe, all-weather surface everyone can use and enjoy.”
He added: “We are hugely grateful to Sustrans and our partners for supporting these important works. The Forth & Clyde Canal already attracts eight million visits a year and I am sure that the improved access offered by these upgraded paths will see even more people enjoy the rich heritage, wildlife and green space offered by the historic waterway.”
Daisy Narayanan, Deputy Director for Built Environment, Sustrans Scotland added: “We have been delighted to be able to continue investing in improvements to canal towpaths in East Dunbartonshire, and throughout the rest of Scotland. The Forth & Clyde Canal towpath is a vital part of the active travel network for central Scotland and the upgraded towpaths will enable more people to choose to walk and cycle more often as part of their day to day lives.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Scottish Canals, and others, on rolling out further improvements to the towpath network, building on the great work that has been done so far.”
Councillor Alan Moir, Convener of Development and Regeneration at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The new, improved towpath is a fantastic addition to the tourism and leisure amenities offered by East Dunbartonshire. We were more than happy to help fund the project - which will encourage people in Kirkintilloch, Harestanes, Twechar and beyond to get active along the Forth & Clyde Canal.
“The recent Kirkintilloch Canal Festival showed again how important the waterway is to the local area - encouraging people from all over Scotland to visit and enjoy the natural and built heritage of the area.”