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At the recent Sustrans Volunteers weekend in Aviemore, Dunkeld’s Katharine Melville received one of three Appreciation Awards. Xavier Brice, Chief Executive of Sustrans, presented the certificate to Katharine who, along with several other ByCycle members, has worked for many years as a Ranger on the off-road sections of NCN77 and 83 near Dunkeld..

Pulling the non-native species Himalayan Balsam in Perth was the reason for this year’s recognition. The Perth and Kinross volunteer group have worked for a number of years on a section of path in North Muirton which is forms part of a wider Sustrans project known as Greener Greenways which recognises Sustrans routes as a natural ecological corridor for wildlife.

When it comes to maintaining the network, all users of the routes can do their bit.

Major faults can be reports to Perth and Kinross Council, to Bear (for the highway sections close to the A9 at Ballinluig and Drumochter) on their websites and on the Fix My Street website.

So what else can you do to help? For small jobs, all users of the paths can do a “two minute litter pick”, remove small fallen branches and tweak back the occasional bramble. Cyclists can keep an eye out for turned around signs and report these on scotland@sustrans.org.uk

And of course every passer-by can pull half a dozen stems of balsam in the growing season of May to September, or form your own community group to tackle the problem!


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